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Open AccessArticle

Ionospheric Peak Parameters Retrieved from FY-3C Radio Occultation: A Statistical Comparison with Measurements from COSMIC RO and Digisondes Over the Globe

1
School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
2
Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
3
Collaborative Innovation Center for Geospatial Technology, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(12), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11121419
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
In this study, two ionospheric peak parameters (ICPs), NmF2 and hmF2, derived from the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) radio occultation (RO) ionospheric electron density profiles (EDPs) obtained by Feng-Yun 3C (FY-3C) mission are compared with those derived from the observations of the Constellation Observing System for the Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) mission and the measurements from 24 digisonde stations distributed around the world during the year from 2014 to 2017. The FY-3C derived ICPs and the COSMIC-derived ICPs are provided by the National Satellite Meteorological Centre (NSMC) and the COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC), respectively. The correlation and bias analyses are carried out in the comparison under the collocation criterion with the time interval of 1 h and the space interval of 3° in latitude and 5° in longitude. When comparing the ICPs derived from the two RO missions, the difference in the azimuth of occultation planes (DAOPs) between the matched pairs is limited to be within 20°. The comparison results are analyzed for different solar activity periods, and solar elevation angle (SEA) is taken for the first time as a factor that represents the comprehensive impacts of latitude zones, seasons, and local time of the observations. The results are shown as follows: (1) Both the COSMIC RO-derived and the digisonde-observed ICPs are in good agreement with the FY-3C RO-derived ones. The correlation coefficient (CC) between the NmF2 and hmF2 derived by COSMIC RO and FY-3C RO is 0.965 and 0.916, respectively, while the correlation coefficient between the NmF2 and hmF2 derived by digisonde and FY-3C RO is 0.924 and 0.832, respectively. The quality of FY-3C RO-derived ICPs are reliable enough for further applications. (2) The CC of NmF2 is, in general, higher than that of hmF2 when comparing FY-3C RO with other observations, and the overall MAB and MRB of FY-3C RO-derived ICPs during the higher solar activity period are higher than the ones during the lower solar activity period. The difference between the two RO missions is much smaller than that one between FY-3C RO and digisonde. (3) For a certain solar activity period, the standard deviations of the absolute bias (SDAB) and the standard deviations of the relative bias (SDRB) of FY-3C RO-derived ICPs compared with digisonde-derived ones generally increases with the increase of SEA, while the SDAB and SDRB of FY-3C RO-derived ICPs both get the minimum values for the AOP interval near to 90°. View Full-Text
Keywords: radio occultation; FY-3C; COSMIC; digisonde; correlation; bias; solar elevation angle radio occultation; FY-3C; COSMIC; digisonde; correlation; bias; solar elevation angle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, H.; Luo, J.; Xu, X. Ionospheric Peak Parameters Retrieved from FY-3C Radio Occultation: A Statistical Comparison with Measurements from COSMIC RO and Digisondes Over the Globe. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1419.

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