The Global Electron Content, GEC, represents the total number of electrons in the spherical layer over the Earth restricted by orbit of Global Positioning Satellite system (20,200 km). GEC is produced from Global Ionospheric Map of Total Electron Content, GIM-TEC, transformed to the electron density varying with height using the International Reference Ionosphere and Plasmasphere model, IRI-Plas. The climatologic GEC model is developed from GIM-TEC maps for a period 1999-2012 including the solar activity, annual and semiannual cycles as the most important factors affecting daily GEC variation. The proxy R<SUB>zp</SUB> of the international sunspot numbers, R<SUB>i</SUB>, is used as a measure of solar activity composed of 3 day smoothed R<SUB>i</SUB>, 7 day and 81 day backwards mean of R<SUB>i</SUB> scaled to the range of 1-40 proxy units, p.u. The root mean square error of the GEC climatologic model is found to vary from 8% to 13% of GEC. Taking advantage of a long history of sunspot numbers, the climatologic GEC model is applied for GEC reconstruction backwards in time for more than 160 years ago since 1850. The extended set of GEC values provides the numerical representation of the ionosphere and plasmasphere electron content coherent with variations of solar activity as a potential proxy index driving the ionosphere models.

Gulyaeva, T. L.;Veselovsky, I. S.
Advances in Space Research
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