Recovery of ionospheric signals using fully convolutional densenet and its challenges

Merlin M. Mendoza, Yu Chi Chang, Alexei V. Dmitriev, Chia Hsien Lin, Lung Chih Tsai, Yung Hui Li, Mon Chai Hsieh, Hao Wei Hsu, Guan Han Huang, Yu Ciang Lin, Enkhtuya Tsogtbaatar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The technique of active ionospheric sounding by ionosondes requires sophisticated methods for the recovery of experimental data on ionograms. In this work, we applied an advanced algorithm of deep learning for the identification and classification of signals from different iono-spheric layers. We collected a dataset of 6131 manually labeled ionograms acquired from low-latitude ionosondes in Taiwan. In the ionograms, we distinguished 11 different classes of the signals according to their ionospheric layers. We developed an artificial neural network, FC-DenseNet24, based on the FC-DenseNet convolutional neural network. We also developed a double-filtering algorithm to reduce incorrectly classified signals. That made it possible to successfully recover the sporadic E layer and the F2 layer from highly noise-contaminated ionograms whose mean signal-to-noise ratio was low, SNR = 1.43. The Intersection over Union (IoU) of the recovery of these two signal classes was greater than 0.6, which was higher than the previous models reported. We also identified three factors that can lower the recovery accuracy: (1) smaller statistics of samples; (2) mixing and overlapping of different signals; (3) the compact shape of signals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6482
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Fully convolutional DenseNet
  • Ionospheric sounding
  • Space weather


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