Kevin S. Burg

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Daniel Emmons, PhD


A new method for validating ionosphere models using High Frequency (HF) angle of arrival (AoA) data is presented. AoA measurements from a field campaign held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA in January 2014 provide the actual elevation angle, azimuth and group delay results from 10 transmitter-receiver circuits. Simulated AoAs are calculated by ray tracing through the electron density profiles predicted from the ionosphere models hosted by NASA's Community Coordinated Modeling Center: IRI-2016, USU-GAIM, GITM, CTIPe, TIE-GCM, and SAMI3. Through the implementation of metrics including Mean Absolute Error, Prediction Efficiency, Correlation Coefficient, and others, we are able to compare and analyze model performance using this new model validation approach. The wide variety of metrics determine model performance quantitatively and qualitatively by analyzing behavior over time.

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