Online user-friendly slant total electron content computation from IRI-Plas: IRI-Plas-STEC

Tuna H., Arikan O., ARIKAN F., GULYAEVA T. L., SEZEN U.

SPACE WEATHER-THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS, vol.12, no.1, pp.64-75, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Slant total electron content (STEC), the total number of free electrons on a ray path, is an important space weather observable. STEC is the main input for computerized ionospheric tomography (CIT). STEC can be estimated using the dual-frequency GPS receivers. GPS-STEC contains the space weather variability, yet the estimates are prone to measurement and instrument errors that are not related to the physical structure of the ionosphere. International Reference Ionosphere Extended to Plasmasphere (IRI-Plas) is the international standard climatic model of ionosphere and plasmasphere, providing vertical electron density profiles for a desired date, time, and location. IRI-Plas is used as the background model in CIT. Computation of STEC from IRI-Plas is a tedious task for researchers due to extensive geodetic calculations and IRI-Plas runs. In this study, IONOLAB group introduces a new space weather service to facilitate the computation of STEC from IRI-Plas (IRI-Plas-STEC) at . The IRI-Plas-STEC can be computed online for a desired location, date, hour, elevation, and azimuth angle. The user-friendly interface also provides means for computation of IRI-STEC for a desired location and date to indicate the variability in hour of the day, elevation, or azimuth angles. The desired location can be chosen as a GPS receiver in International GNSS Service (IGS) or EUREF Permanent Network (EPN). Also instead of specifying elevation and azimuth angles, the user can directly choose from the GPS satellites and obtain IRI-Plas-STEC for a desired date and/or hour. The computed IRI-Plas-STEC values are presented directly on the screen or via e-mail as both text and plots.