Validation study of the Ionosphere Forecast Model using the TOPEX total electron content measurements



[1] As a part of the validation program in the Utah State University Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurement (GAIM) project, a newly improved Ionosphere Forecast Model (IFM) was systematically validated by using a large database of TOPEX total electron content (TEC) measurements. The TOPEX data used for the validation are for the period from August 1992 to March 2003, and the total number of 18-s averaged data is close to 11 million. This model validation work covers a wide range of seasonal (winter, summer, and equinox) and solar (low-F10.7, median F10.7, and high-F10.7) conditions as well as all UT variations with the focus on nonstorm time TEC. The validation results indicate that the features of the spatial distribution of the IFM TEC are systematically consistent with those of the TOPEX TEC. The differences between the IFM TEC and the TOPEX TEC are within 20% for almost all locations and conditions. For many conditions, the differences are even below 10%.