Real-Time Ionosphere Monitoring by Three-Dimensional Tomography over Japan

Susumu Saito, Shota Suzuki, Mamoru Yamamoto, Akinori Saito, Chia Hun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on the development of a real-time three-dimensional ionospheric tomography technique using GNSS measurements. GPS measurement data from 200 GPS receivers distributed throughout Japan are analyzed in real time to calculate ionospheric Total Electron Contents (TECs). The three-dimensional ionospheric electron density distribution was reconstructed using the tomography technique from the slant TEC data. The tomography results were found to be in good agreement with both the electron density profiles obtained by radio occultation measurements by the COSMIC satellite and the ionospheric peak densities obtained by vertical radio sounding measurements (ionosondes). The real-time ionospheric tomography system commenced operation in March 2016 and it continuously produces three-dimensional electron density distributions over Japan every 15 min with latency of about 6 min. This system is a very powerful tool for monitoring the ionosphere in real time, which could both improve the performance of GNSS-based systems and further the understanding of ionospheric variations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalNavigation, Journal of the Institute of Navigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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