Performance of IRI-based ionospheric critical frequency calculations with reference to forecasting



[1] Ionospheric critical frequency (foF2) is an important ionospheric parameter in telecommunication. Ionospheric processes are highly nonlinear and time varying. Thus, mathematical modeling based on physical principles is extremely difficult if not impossible. The authors forecast foF2 values by using neural networks and, in parallel, they calculate foF2 values based on the IRI model. The foF2 values were forecast 1 h in advance by using the Middle East Technical University Neural Network model (METU-NN) and the work was reported previously. Since then, the METU-NN has been improved. In this paper, 1 h in advance forecast foF2 values and the calculated foF2 values have been compared with the observed values considering the Slough (51.5°N, 0.6°W), Uppsala (59.8°N, 17.6°E), and Rome (41.8°N, 12.5°E) station foF2 data. The authors have considered the models alternative to each other. The performance results of the models are promising. The METU-NN foF2 forecast errors are smaller than the calculated foF2 errors. The models may be used in parallel employing the METU-NN as the primary source for the foF2 forecasting.