Ionospheric solar flare effects monitored by the ground-based GPS receivers: Theory and observation

J. Y. Liu, C. H. Lin, H. F. Tsai, Y. A. Liou

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The ionosphere responses to a solar flare observed by using ground-based receivers of the global positioning system (GPS) are investigated in this paper. Two quantities, the total electron content (TEC) and its time rate of change (rTEC), can be derived from the receivers. The theoretical studies show that the rTEC is related to the frequency deviation of the GPS signals. Meanwhile, worldwide ground-based GPS receivers are employed to derive the TEC and associated rTEC to monitor the ionospheric solar flare effect on 14 July (Bastille Day) 2000. It is found that ionospheric solar flare effects can be observed from predawn to postdusk regions, and the most pronounced signatures appear in the midday area. The agreement between theoretical predications and observations demonstrates that the TEC is suitable to monitor the overall variations of flare radiations while the rTEC is capable to detect sudden changes in the flare radiations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA01307
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Bastille day
  • GPS
  • Ionosphere
  • Solar flare
  • TEC


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