Sounding of the Ionosphere Using the CanX-2 Nano-Satellite and Single-Frequency Radio Occultation Techniques
The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to show that single-frequency ionospheric electron density profiles can be obtained using GPS radio occultation techniques with commercial, off-the-shelf hardware. The platform used in support of this objective is the CanX-2 nanosatellite. Limitations with respect to the antenna's field of view and poor signal quality are overcome with the use of the code-minus-carrier observable, TEC calibration and a various smoothing techniques. All
... chniques are validated through comparison of the corresponding vertical electron density profiles to optimized data assumed to be the best possible representations of the true ionospheric signal. This assumption is substantiated through application of the optimization procedure to raw COSMIC data and comparison to COSMIC published post-processed product. Smoothing of raw CanX-2 code-minus-carrier data was conducted via polynomial fit and a moving-average filter. Both methods fared very well when compared to the optimized data. The radio occultation research performed with CanX-2 represents 2 orders of magnitude decrease in cost over similar work conducted by larger-budget and larger-scope programs.