Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Jan J. Sojka


Jan J. Sojka


D. Mark Riffe


Ludger Scherliess


The ionosphere is a region of the atmosphere with a high density of electrons. These electrons affect the behavior of any electromagnetic wave that passes through the ionosphere. Communication and geolocation systems, such as traditional radio and Global Positioning Systems, depend on emitted electromagnetic signals being picked up by a receiver. The presence of the ionosphere affects the behavior of the signal and the quality of the service. Hence, the interactions between electromagnetic waves and the ionosphere provide a major motivation to understand, research, and successfully model and predict the ionosphere and its physical phenomena. This study focused on determining the capabilities and limitations of the time-dependent ionospheric model (TDIM) with the addition of a servo that was driven by using data that accounts for the total electron count (TEC) between a ground receiver and a Global Positioning System satellite. The TDIM and servo combined was called TST (TEC-driven Servo with TDIM) and TST has the ability to simulate values of the ionosphere’s peak electron density. This parameter was analyzed and compared to the electron peak density data obtained by the ground-based instrument known as an ionosonde. The ionosonde data was treated as ground truth. The comparison found that TST had the ability to simulate weather-level and location-based electron peak density variability. It was also determined that TST consistently overestimates the actual value when compared to ionosonde data. As an ionospheric model, TST needs continued refinement.



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