Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Monitoring Earth's ionosphere by means of hardware-software complex using the GPS/GLONASS satellite systems

Main Article Content

V. M. Smirnov corresponding author
E.V. Smirnova


Near real-time one-dimensional vertical electron density profiles are determined from GPS-derived total electron content (TEC) data by means of the iterative conjugate gradient projection method (CGP). Electron density profiles are determined in near realtime (within minutes of the time of measurement) from short time series of slant TEC (STEC) approximately 5 minutes. Measured STEC values are obtained from dual frequency data from a single GPS satellite at a single dual frequency receiver station. Both code-based TEC derived from the P-observable (Ptec) and phase-based TEC derived from the carrier phase observable (Ltec) are used in the solution. The CGP method addresses the ill-posed inverse problem of determining the electron density profiles from TEC measurements through the application of a side constraint to the acceptable solution. This is an iterative method which approximates the solution of a least squares problem through a converging sequence of solutions. The accuracy of the results is verified by comparison to electron density determined from the ionograms measured with Digisondes (Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetizm, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation, Russian Academy of Science) located at Troizk, Moscow region (55.5N, 37.3E). The results of a hardware-software complex intended for monitoring the Earth's ionosphere according to navigation satellite systems are presented. The anomalous behavior of the critical frequency of the F2-layer ionosphere at latitudes 57-59 degrees observed in December 2014 is detected.

electron density profile, conjugate gradient projection, ionosphere, international reference ionosphere

Article Details

How to Cite
Smirnov, V. M., & Smirnova, E. (2019). Monitoring Earth’s ionosphere by means of hardware-software complex using the GPS/GLONASS satellite systems. Resources Environment and Information Engineering, 1(1), 29-35.


  1. Hansen PC. Regularization Tools, A Matlab Package for the Analysis and Solution of Discrete Ill-posed Problems. Numerical Algorithms, 1994, 6: 1-35.
  2. Tang J, Yao Y, Zhang L, et al. Tomographic reconstruction of ionospheric electron density during the storm of 5-6 August 2011 using multi-source data. Scientific reports, 2015,5: 13042.
  3. Smirnov VM. Solution of the Inverse Problems of Electromagnetic Transmission Probing of the Earth Ionosphere by Gradient Methods Journal of Communications Technology and Electronics, 2001, 46(1): 41-45.
  4. Andrianov VA, Alpatov VV, Smirnov VM, et al. The investigation of the ionospheric variability by the radio translucence method. Advances in Space Research, 2001, 27(6-7): 1327-1331.
  5. Smirnov VM and Tynyankin SI. The method of determining the parameters of the ionosphere and device for its implementation. Patent for invention, 2011, NO.2421753 of 20.06.2011.
  6. Smirnov VM and Smirnova EV. Software module based on satellite systems GPS / GLONASS. Journal of Radio Electronics, 2010, 6: 1-16.
  7. Smirnov VM. Method for monitoring the Earth’s ionosphere using satellite navigation systems. DPhil thesis, 2007: 299.
  8. Smirnov VM, Smirnova EV, Sekistov VN, et al. Propagation of short radio waves and the potential of the earth’s ionosphere radio-sounding method for calculation of maximum usable frequencies. Journal of Communications Technology and Electronics, 2008, 53(9):1052-1059.
  9. Bilitza D, Altadill D, Zhang Y, et al. The International Reference Ionosphere 2012a model of international collaboration. Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 2004, 4: A07.