1COSMIC Program Office, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
2Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
3Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Received: 15 Dec 2009 – Revised: 16 Jan 2010 – Accepted: 18 Jan 2010 – Published: 21 Jan 2010
Abstract. This letter reports for the first time the simulated error distribution of radio occultation (RO) electron density profiles (EDPs) from the Abel inversion in a systematic way. Occultation events observed by the COSMIC satellites are simulated during the spring equinox of 2008 by calculating the integrated total electron content (TEC) along the COSMIC occultation paths with the "true" electron density from an empirical model. The retrieval errors are computed by comparing the retrieved EDPs with the "true" EDPs. The results show that the retrieved NmF2 and hmF2 are generally in good agreement with the true values, but the reliability of the retrieved electron density degrades in low latitude regions and at low altitudes. Specifically, the Abel retrieval method overestimates electron density to the north and south of the crests of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA), and introduces artificial plasma caves underneath the EIA crests. At lower altitudes (E- and F1-regions), it results in three pseudo peaks in daytime electron densities along the magnetic latitude and a pseudo trough in nighttime equatorial electron densities.
Yue, X., Schreiner, W. S., Lei, J., Sokolovskiy, S. V., Rocken, C., Hunt, D. C., and Kuo, Y.-H.: Error analysis of Abel retrieved electron density profiles from radio occultation measurements, Ann. Geophys., 28, 217-222, doi:10.5194/angeo-28-217-2010, 2010.