This paper provides an overview of the contributions of the space-based global navigation satellite system (GNSS) radio occultation (RO) measurements from the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC2 (F7/C2) mission in advancing our understanding of ionospheric plasma physics in the purview of space weather. The global positioning system (GPS) occultation experiment (GOX) onboard FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (F3/C), with more than four and half million ionospheric RO soundings during April 2006–May 2020, offered a unique three-dimensional (3D) perspective to examine the global electron density distribution and unravel the underlying physical processes. The current F7/C2 carries TGRS (Tri-GNSS radio occultation system) has tracked more than 4000 RO profiles within ±35◦ latitudes per day since 25 June 2019. Taking advantage of the larger number of low-latitude soundings, the F7/C2 TGRS observations were used here to examine the 3D electron density structures and electrodynamics of the equatorial ionization anomaly, plasma depletion bays, and four-peaked patterns, as well as the S4 index of GNSS signal scintillations in the equatorial and low-latitude ionosphere, which have been previously investigated by using F3/C measurements. The results demonstrated that the denser low-latitude soundings enable the construction of monthly global electron density maps as well the altitude-latitude profiles with higher spatial and temporal resolution windows, and revealed longitudinal and seasonal characteristics in greater detail. The enhanced F7/C2 RO observations were further applied by the Central Weather Bureau/Space Weather Operation Office (CWB/SWOO) in Taiwan and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra-tion/Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA/SWPC) in the United States to specify the ionospheric conditions for issuing alerts and warnings for positioning, navigation, and communication customers. A brief description of the two models is also provided.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Atmospheric Science