Regularized estimation of vertical total electron content from Global Positioning System data

Arikan F., EROL C., ARIKAN O.

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS, vol.108, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


A novel regularization technique which can combine signals from all Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites for a given instant and a given receiver is developed to estimate the vertical total electron content (VTEC) values for the 24-hour period without missing any important features in the temporal domain. The algorithm is based on the minimization of a cost function which also includes a high pass penalty filter. Optional weighting function and sliding window median filter are added to enrich the processing and smoothing of the data. The developed regularized estimation algorithm is applied to GPS data for various locations for the solar maximum week of 23-28 April 2001. The parameter set that is required by the estimation algorithm is chosen optimally using appropriate error functions. This robust and optimum parameter set can be used for all latitudes and for both quiet and disturbed days. It is observed that the estimated TEC values are in general accordance with the TEC estimates from other global ionospheric maps, especially for quiet days and midlatitudes. Owing to its 30 s time resolution, the regularized VTEC estimates from the developed algorithm are very successful in representation and tracking of sudden temporal variations of the ionosphere, especially for high latitudes and during ionospheric disturbances.