Development of a matlab based software package for ionosphere modeling

Nohutcu, Metin
Modeling of the ionosphere has been a highly interesting subject within the scientific community due to its effects on the propagation of electromagnetic waves. The development of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and creation of extensive ground-based GPS networks started a new period in observation of the ionosphere, which resulted in several studies on GPS-based modeling of the ionosphere. However, software studies on the subject that are open to the scientific community have not progressed in a similar manner and the options for the research community to reach ionospheric modeling results are still limited. Being aware of this need, a new MATLAB® based ionosphere modeling software, i.e. TECmapper is developed within the study. The software uses three different algorithms for the modeling of the Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) of the ionosphere, namely, 2D B-spline, 3D B-spline and spherical harmonic models. The study includes modifications for the original forms of the B-spline and the spherical harmonic approaches. In order to decrease the effect of outliers in the data a robust regression algorithm is utilized as an alternative to the least squares estimation. Besides, two regularization methods are employed to stabilize the ill-conditioned problems in parameter estimation stage. The software and models are tested on a real data set from ground-based GPS receivers over Turkey. Results indicate that the B-spline models are more successful for the local or regional modeling of the VTEC. However, spherical harmonics should be preferred for global applications since the B-spline approach is based on Euclidean theory.


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Citation Formats
M. Nohutcu, “Development of a matlab based software package for ionosphere modeling,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2009.