The ionospheric condition and GPS positioning performance during the 2013 tropical cyclone Usagi event in the Hong Kong region

Shiwei Yu, Zhizhao Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The ionosphere plays a critical role in the electromagnetic waves in communication systems such as the global positioning system (GPS). However, it is suspected that the strong convection during the tropical cyclone (TC) events can be a trigger to anomalous electron density variation in the ionosphere. This study analyzed the variation of three ionosphere-related parameters based on the GPS data including scintillation index S4, cycle slips, and total electron content (TEC) rate (TECR) during the tropical cyclone event (the 2013 TC Usagi) in the Hong Kong region. The results showed that the ionosphere-related parameters had a consistent significant increase on the second day after the Usagi made landfall near Hong Kong. Consequently, the positioning performance of GPS precise point positioning (PPP) and relative positioning modes was degraded. The degradation was ~ 138%, ~ 181%, and ~ 460% in the east (root mean square (RMS) 0.050 m), north (RMS 0.045 m), and up (RMS 0.185 m), respectively, compared with the RMS of 0.021 m in the east, 0.016 m in the north, and 0.033 m in the up on the normal day. Regarding the relative positioning, the positioning errors in the east (RMS 0.134 m) and north (RMS 0.118 m) directions were ~ 7.1 and ~ 7.9 times, respectively, as large as the RMS of 0.019 m in the east and 0.015 m in the north on the normal day. The positioning errors in the up (RMS 0.513 m) direction were ~ 12.2 times larger than the RMS of 0.042 m on the normal day. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • GPS precise point positioning (PPP)
  • GPS relative positioning
  • Ionospheric scintillation
  • Tropical cyclone (TC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this