Presently, the ionosphere effect is the main source of the error in the Global Positioning System (GPS) observations. This effect can largely be removed by using the two-frequency measurements, while to obtain the reasonable results in the single-frequency applications, an accurate ionosphere model is required. Since the global ionosphere models do not meet our needs everywhere, the local ionosphere models are developed. In this paper, a rapid local ionosphere model over Iran is presented. For this purpose, the GPS observations obtained from 40 GPS stations of the Iranian Permanent GPS Network (IPGN) and 16 other GPS stations around Iran have been used. The observations have been selected under 2014 solar maximum, from the days 058, 107, 188 and 271 of the year 2014 with different geomagnetic activities. Moreover, ionospheric observables based on the precise point positioning (PPP) have been applied to model the ionosphere. To represent our ionosphere model, the B-spline basis functions have been employed and the variance component estimation (VCE) method has been used to regularize the problem.
To show the efficiency our PPP-derived local ionosphere model with respect to the International GNSS Service (IGS) global models, these models are applied on the single point positioning using single-frequency observations and their results are compared with the precise coordinates obtained from the double-differenced solution using dual-frequency observations. The results show that the 95th percentile of horizontal and vertical positioning errors of the single-frequency point positioning are about 3.1 and 13.6 m, respectively, when any ionosphere model are not applied. These values significantly improve when the ionosphere models are applied in the solutions. Applying CODE’s Rapid Global ionosphere map (CORG), improvements of 59% and 81% in horizontal and vertical components are observed. These values for the IGS Global ionosphere map (IGSG) are 70% and 82%, respectively. The best results are obtained from our local ionosphere model, where 84% and 87% improvements in horizontal and vertical components are observed. These results confirm the efficiency of our local ionosphere model over Iran with respect to the global models. As a by-product, the Differential Code Biases (DCBs) of the receivers are also estimated. In this line, we found that the intra-day variations of the receiver DCBs could be significant. Therefore, these variations must be taken into account for the precise ionosphere modeling.