Toward ionospheric tomography in Antarctica: first steps and comparison with dynasonde observations

Total electron content (TEC) measurements obtained at two Antarctic stations over nine months beginning early in 1994 have been analysed as a first step to performing ionospheric tomography. Two receiving systems were deployed at the Faraday and Halley research stations operated by the British Antarctic Survey to monitor signals from a random selection of passes of satellites in the Navy Navigational Satellite System. The resultant measurements of total electron content have been inverted and combined with ionosonde measurements of true height and foF2 to yield two-dimensional contour maps of ionospheric electron density. In spite of the poor geometry of the observations, some 130 satellite passes were found to be suitable for reconstruction using the techniques developed for ionospheric tomography. The contour maps of plasma density have been compared with independent observations of the vertical electron density profile measured by the dynasonde ionospheric sounder located at Halley. An example is presented of a deep trough investigated by the technique, illustrating the potential of the tomographic method for study of an extended spatial region of the ionosphere over inhospitable terrain.


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Authors: Heaton, J.A.T., Jones, G.O.L., Kersley, L.

1 September, 1996
Antarctic Science / 8
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