Total electron content derived from global positioning system during solar maximum of 2012-2013 over the eastern part of the African sector

Emmanuel D Sulungu, Christian BS Uiso, Patrick Sibanda


This work presents results of diurnal, seasonal and latitudinal variations of vertical Total Electron Content (TECv) derived from GPS receivers at four locations, [Dodoma (6.19oS, 35.75oE), Mzuzu (11.43oS, 34.01oE), Zomba (15.38oS, 35.33oE) and Tete (16.15oS, 33.58oE)] during the solar maximum period of 2012 – 2013. The receivers are located directly below the EIA and at approximately the same longitude, ~ (33 – 3 oE) within the eastern part of the African sector. Diurnal and latitudinal variations of TECv are presented for an average of the five (5) quietest days of each of the four seasons: March equinox, June solstice, September equinox and December solstice; for the seasonal variations all months in a year were considered. Results showed that TECv is characterized by consistent minimum diurnal variations during presunrise hours, rises steeply during the sunrise period to the maximum peak during the daytime, followed by a decrease to a minimum during nighttime. The values of TECv from all stations used and for both years (2012 and 2013) showed semiannual variations. Our study also showed that, the day maximum value of the TECv decreased significantly with the increase in latitude.

Keywords: Global Positioning System, Total Electron Content

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