Total Electron Content Analysis


Total electron content, is an important variable in satellite communication as well as astronomy. TEC is the total number of electrons present in the path of a transmission and a receiver, and depending upon its magnitude can negatively affect the accuracy of GPS navigation on the scale of tens of meters. TEC is influenced in drastic ways by its location, the time of day, and by space weather events such as the solar cycle, and interaction of magnetosphere with solarwinds. Our method of ascertaining our results was by installing a receiver on the rooftop of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and retrieving data from the receiver every 24 hours over the course of two weeks.Once we returned to the University of Houston we began our data analysis with a variety of software. The TEC content was observed to rise in the evenings, and cleared during periods of high aurora activity. Additional processing and analysis of the results are ongoing for the periods of greatest solar activity. By understanding the effect on TEC due to space weather events we gain the ability to improve accuracy of GPS and radio transmissions through the ionosphere, and potentially safeguard ourselves against unpredictable events.