RINEX_HO: second- and third-order ionospheric corrections for RINEX observation files
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When GNSS receivers capable of collecting dual-frequency data are available, it is possible to eliminate the first-order ionospheric effect in the data processing through the ionosphere-free linear combination. However, the second- and third-order ionospheric effects still remain. The first-, second- and third-order ionospheric effects are directly proportional to the total electron content (TEC), although the second- and third-order effects are influenced, respectively, by the geomagnetic field and the maximum electron density. In recent years, the international scientific community has given more attention to these kinds of effects and some works have shown that for high precision GNSS positioning these effects have to be taken into consideration. We present a software tool called RINEX_HO that was developed to correct GPS observables for second- and third-order ionosphere effects. RINEX_HO requires as input a RINEX observation file, then computes the second- and third-order ionospheric effects, and applies the corrections to the original GPS observables, creating a corrected RINEX file. The mathematical models implemented to compute these effects are presented, as well as the transformations involving the earth's magnetic field. The use of TEC from global ionospheric maps and TEC calculated from raw pseudorange measurements or pseudoranges smoothed by phase is also investigated.