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Keywords:

  • Global Positioning System;
  • ionosphere error;
  • incoherent scatter radar

[1] The ionosphere is a dominant source of Global Positioning System receiver range measurement error. Although dual-frequency receivers can eliminate the first-order ionospheric error, most second- and third-order errors remain in the range measurements. Higher-order ionospheric error is a function of both electron density distribution and the magnetic field vector along the GPS signal propagation path. This paper expands previous efforts by combining incoherent scatter radar (ISR) electron density measurements, the International Reference Ionosphere model, exponential decay extensions of electron densities, the International Geomagnetic Reference Field, and total electron content maps to compute higher-order error at ISRs in Arecibo, Puerto Rico; Jicamarca, Peru; and Millstone Hill, Massachusetts. Diurnal patterns, dependency on signal direction, seasonal variation, and geomagnetic activity dependency are analyzed. Higher-order error is largest at Arecibo with code phase maxima circa 7 cm for low-elevation southern signals. The maximum variation of the error over all angles of arrival is circa 8 cm.