Tomographic imaging of the ionosphere using the GPS/MET and NNSS data

L. C. Tsai, C. H. Liu, W. H. Tsai, C. T. Liu

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The earlier experiments of ionospheric tomography were conducted by receiving satellite signals from ground-based stations and then reconstructing electron density distribution from measures of the total electron content (TEC). In June 1994, National Central University built up the low-latitude ionospheric tomography network (LITN) including six ground stations spanning a range of 16.7° (from 14.6°N to 31.3°N) in latitude within 1° of 121°E longitude to receive the naval navigation satellite system (NNSS) signals (150 and 400 MHz). In the study of tomographic imaging of the ionosphere, TEC data from a network of ground-based stations can provide detailed information on the horizontal structure, but are of restricted utility in sensing vertical structure. However, an occulation observation mission termed the global positioning system/meteorology (GPS/MET) program used a low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite (the MicroLab-1) to receive multi-channel GPS carrier phase signals (1.5 and 1.2 GHz) and demonstrate active limb sounding of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere. In this paper, we have implemented the multiplicative algebraic reconstruction technique (MART) to reconstruct and compare two-dimensional ionospheric structures from measured TECs through the receptions of the GPS signals, the NNSS signals, and/or both of the systems. We have also concluded the profiles retrieved from tomographic reconstruction showing much reasonable electron density results than the original vertical profiles retrieved by the Abel transformation and being in more agreement in peak electron density to nearby ionosonde measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2003-2011
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • GPS occultation
  • Ionospheric tomography
  • NNSS
  • The multiplicative algebraic reconstruction technique (MART)
  • Total electron content (TEC)


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