Global Ionosonde and GPS Radio Occultation Sporadic-E Intensity and Height Comparison
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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A global multi-year comparison of altitude profiles of mid latitude sporadic-E Es derived from COSMIC GPS radio occultation RO data and altitude profiles of blanketing E frequency derived from Digisonde data. Comparisons were made for profiles collected within 150 km and 30 minutes of each other. RO methods used to estimate the intensity of the Es layer include the scintillation index S4, total electron content TEC with both a constant and variable Es cloud thickness, and an Abel transform. The S4 and TEC with varying thickness techniques both under-represent the fbEs values while the TEC with constant thickness and Abel transform better estimate Digisonde fbEs values. All RO methods underestimate the altitude of the fbEs events as calculated Digisonde measurement. No method outperformed the other techniques across every metric, but the physical basis of the TEC technique proves better than the empirically derived S4. The Abel transform is promising, but the lower resolution data currently available degrades its performance. Overall, an automated TEC method tested on a larger data set could prove valuable for real-time global Es observation, especially with a higher resolution data source such as from the soon to be launched COSMIC II constellation.
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