Application of Fengyun 3-C GNSS occulation sounder for assessing global ionospheric response to magnetic storm event

Other literature type English OPEN
Bai, Weihua ; Wang, Guojun ; Sun, Yueqiang ; Shi, Jiankui ; Meng, Xiangguang ; Wang, Dongwei ; Du, Qifei ; Wang, Xianyi ; Xia, Junming ; Cai, Yuerong ; Liu, Congliang ; Li, Wei ; Wu, Chunjun ; Zhao, Danyang ; Wu, Di ; Liu, Cheng (2016)

The rapid advancement of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) occultation technology in recent years has made it one of the most advanced space detection technologies of the 21st century. GNSS radio occultation has many advantages, including all-weather operation, global coverage, high vertical resolution, high precision, long-term stability, and self-calibration. Data products from GNSS occultation sounding can greatly enhance ionospheric observations and contribute to space weather monitoring, forecasting, modeling, and research. In this study, GNSS occultation sounder (GNOS) results from a radio occultation sounding payload aboard the Fengyun 3-C (FY3-C) satellite were compared with ground-based ionosonde observations. Correlation coefficients for peak electron density (NmF2) derived from GNOS Global Position System (GPS) and Beidou navigation system (BDS) products with ionosonde data were higher than 0.9, and standard deviations were less than 20 %. Global ionospheric effects of the strong magnetic storm event in March 2015 were analyzed using GNOS results supported by ionosonde observations. The magnetic storm caused a significant disturbance in NmF2 and hmF2 levels. Suppressed daytime and nighttime NmF2 levels indicated mainly negative storm conditions. In the zone of geomagnetic inclination between 40–80 °, average NmF2 during the geomagnetic storm showed the same basic trends in GNOS measurements, and in observations from 17 ground-based ionosonde stations, and confirmed the negative effect of the event on the ionosphere. The analysis demonstrates the reliability of the GNSS radio occultation sounding instrument GNOS aboard the FY3-C satellite, and confirms the utility of ionosphere products from GNOS for statistical and event-specific ionospheric physical analyses. Future FY3 series satellites, and increasing numbers of Beidou navigation satellites, will provide increasing GNOS occultation data on the ionosphere, which will contribute to ionosphere research and forecasting applications.
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