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Max Noja

Retrieval of plasmaspheric Total Electron Content from space-based GPS observations including a receiver differential code bias and multipath estimation

Hochschule Neubrandenburg, 2010

Abstract: The ionosphere and plasmasphere denote the ionized parts of the upper atmosphere. The electron and ion density and their gradients have a significant influence on the propagation of trans-ionospheric radio waves as used by satellite-based navigation systems like GPS, GLONASS, or the future Galileo system, affecting the navigational solution for positioning. Therefore, it is of great interest to determine and correct the ionospheric path delay. In doing so, Total Electron Content (TEC), the integrated number of free electrons along the radio wave path, is an essential measurement to develop empirical and physical models of the near-Earth space. This master thesis describes a procedure to retrieve TEC on the basis of GPS observations. This procedure provides a near real-time calculation of TEC values including a receiver differential code bias and a multipath estimation. The development of the procedure is based on measurements from the navigation antenna of the multi-year satellite mission CHAMP, which offers GPS observations from almost ten years.

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