GPS Measurements from Ground & Space
This project will use GPS measurements from dual-frequency GPS receivers to study variation in electron density in the ionosphere and atmospheric water vapour.
Signals from the constellation of GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites are used for scientific research in areas other than the original purpose of accurate position location.
Propagation of the two microwave signals transmitted from each satellite are determined by the refractive index of the atmosphere, which is in turn determined by the electron density in the ionosphere, the temperature profile of the atmosphere and, in the lowest part of the atmosphere, by water vapour.
The project will give the opportunity to carry out research in the rapidly changing field of GPS observations, which have wide application in atmospheric physics and meteorology. Measurements of GPS signals received on low-orbit micro satellites, such as the recently launched Australian Cube-satellites and COSMIC constellation (which provide a global perspective).
Australia has a number of high-density GPS networks which could allow high spatial resolution measurements of both electron density and water vapour to be obtained.