TEC ingestion into NeQuick 2 to model the East African equatorial ionosphere


Corresponding author: M. Nigussie, Washera Geospace and Radar Science Laboratory, Bahir Dar University, PO Box, 79, Bahir Dar, Gojjam, Ethiopia. (melessewnigussie@yahoo.com)


[1] NeQuick 2 ionospheric empirical model depends on global ionospheric coefficients that are estimated from unevenly distributed ionosonde measurements. In regions, like Africa, where very few observational data were available until recently, the model estimated the ionospheric peak parameters by interpolation. When one wants to employ the model to specify the ionosphere where very few data have been used for model development, the performances of the model need careful validation. This study investigates the performances of NeQuick 2 in the East African region by assisting the model with measurements from a single Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, which has been deployed recently. This can be done by first calculating an effective ionization level that drives NeQuick 2 to compute slant total electron content (sTEC) which fits, in the least square sense, with the measurements taken from a single GPS receiver. We then quantify the performances of NeQuick 2 in reproducing the measured TEC by running the model at four other locations, where GPS stations are available, using the same effective ionization level that we calculated from a single GPS station as a driver of the model. Finally, the performances of the model before and after data ingestion have been investigated by comparing the model results with the experimental sTEC and vertical TEC (vTEC) obtained from the four test stations. Three months data during low solar activity conditions have been used for this study. We have shown that the capability of NeQuick 2, in describing the East African region of the ionosphere, can be improved substantially by data ingestion. We found that the model after ingestion reproduces the experimental TEC better as far as about 620 km away from the reference station than that before adaptation. The statistical comparisons of the performances of the model in reproducing sTEC before and after ingestion are also discussed in this study.