Ionospheric delay is the major source of satellite positioning system performance degradation. Designers of satellite positioning systems attempt to mitigate the impact of the ionospheric delay by deployment of correction models. For instance, the American GPS utilises a global standard (Klobuchar) model, based on the assumption that the daily distribution of GPS ionospheric delay values follows a biased cosine curve during day-time, while during the night-time the GPS ionospheric delay remains constant. Providing a compromise between computational complexity and accuracy, the Klobuchar model is capable of correcting up to 70% of actual ionospheric delay, mainly during quiet space weather conditions. Unfortunately, it provides a very poor performance during severe space weather, geomagnetic and ionospheric disturbances. In addition, a global approach in Klobuchar model development did not take into account particularities of the local ionospheric conditions that can significantly contribute to the general GPS ionospheric delay. Current research activities worldwide are concentrating on a better understanding of the observed GPS ionospheric delay dynamics and the relation to local ionosphere conditions.
Here we present the results of a study addressing daily GPS ionospheric delay dynamics observed at a Croatian coastal area of the northern Adriatic (position ϕ=45°N, λ=15°E) in the periods of quiet space weather in 2007. Daily sets of actual GPS ionospheric delay values were assumed to be the time series of composite signals, consisting of DC, cosine and residual components, respectively. Separate models have been developed that describe components of actual GPS ionospheric delay in the northern Adriatic for summer and winter, respectively. A special emphasis was given to the statistical description of the residual component of the daily distribution of GPS ionospheric delay, obtained by removing DC (bias) and cosine components from the composite GPS ionospheric delay.
Future work will be focused on further evaluation and validation of a quiet space weather GPS ionospheric delay model for the northern Adriatic, transition to a non-Klobuchar model, and on research in local GPS ionospheric delay dynamics during disturbed and severe space weather conditions.