Atmospheric sciences, geophysics, remote sensing; GPS; computerized ionospheric tomography (CIT); ionospheric electron density; total electron content (TEC); ionosonde; equatorial anomaly.
In this paper, an IRI model assisted GPS-based Computerized Ionospheric Tomography (CIT) technique is developed to inverse the ionospheric electron density (IED) distribution over China. Essentially, an improved algebraic reconstruction technique (IART) is first proposed to reconstruct the ionospheric images with high resolution and high efficiency. A numerical experiment is used to validate the reliability of the method and its advantages to the classical algebraic reconstruction technique (ART). This is then used to reconstruct the IED images using the GPS data in China. The variations of the IED during magnetically quiet and disturbed days are reported and analyzed here. Reconstructed results during magnetically quiet days show some prominent ionospheric features such as the development of equatorial anomaly and the tilt of ionization crest. Meanwhile, ionospheric storm phase effects and disturbed features can also be revealed from the reconstructed IED image under storm conditions. Research shows that the positive storm phase effects usually happen in southern China, and the negative storm phase effects mainly occur in northern China. The equatorial anomaly crest moved to the north in the main phase of the storm. Ionosonde data recorded at Wuhan station provides the verification for the reliability of GPS-based CIT technique.