New leveling and bias estimation algorithms for processing COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 data for slant total electron content measurements

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Abstract

[1] Ionospheric modeling can be improved by the inclusion of occultation data between satellites and GPS transmitters. COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 provides a large data set of such occultations. In order to utilize these absolute measurements in an assimilative model, the data must be carefully processed; the level of the ionospheric combination and the differential biases must be accurately determined. The COSMIC GPS receivers operate in a high multipath environment; a phase leveling algorithm, utilizing the information in the multipath, improves the leveling errors by at least 0.4 total electron content units. Receiver biases are then computed from the leveled data by making some simplifying assumptions about the structure of the ionosphere and plasmasphere. This processing algorithm provides occultation measurements as slant total electron content to an accuracy of 3.55 total electron content units.

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