Radio Science

Comparative testing of four ionospheric models driven with GPS measurements



[1] In the context of the European Space Agency/European Space Operations Centre funded Study “GNSS Contribution to Next Generation Global Ionospheric Monitoring,” four ionospheric models based on GNSS data (the Electron Density Assimilative Model, EDAM; the Ionosphere Monitoring Facility, IONMON v2; the Tomographic Ionosphere model, TOMION; and the Neustrelitz TEC Models, NTCM) have been run using a controlled set of input data. Each model output has been tested against differential slant TEC (dSTEC) truth data for high (May 2002) and low (December 2006) sunspot periods. Three of the models (EDAM, TOMION, and NTCM) produce dSTEC standard deviation results that are broadly consistent with each other and with standard deviation spreads of ∼1 TECu for December 2006 and ∼1.5 TECu for May 2002. The lowest reported standard deviation across all models and all stations was 0.99 TECu (EDAM, TLSE station for December 2006 night). However, the model with the best overall dSTEC performance was TOMION which has the lowest standard deviation in 28 out of 52 test cases (13 stations, two test periods, day and night). This is probably related to the interpolation techniques used in TOMION exploiting the spatial stationarity of vertical TEC error decorrelation.