The plasmasphere, which is located above the ionosphere, is a significant component of Earth’s atmosphere, and the plasmasphere electron content (PEC) distribution is determined by different physical mechanisms to those of the ionosphere electron content (IEC). However, the observation for the PEC is very limited. In this study, we introduced a methodology (called zero assumption method, which is based on the assumption that PEC can reach zero) to extract the PEC over TOPEX/JASON (T/J) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) overlapping areas. Results show that the daily systematic bias (T/J vertical TEC > GNSS-derived vertical TEC) for both low (2009) and high (2011) solar activity condition is consistent, and the systematic bias for JASON2 and JASON1 is different. We suggest that systematic biases predominantly arise from the sea state bias (SSB), especially the tracker bias. After removing the systematic bias, we extracted reliable PEC inferred from differences between GNSS-derived vertical TEC and T/J vertical TEC data. Finally, the characteristics of the plasmaspheric component distribution for different local times, latitudes, and seasons were investigated.
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