Spirepedia

Total Electron Content

Total Electron Content (TEC) is a measurement of the total number of electrons within a one square meter cross section “tube” between two points, commonly between a GNSS receiver (e.g., Spire STRATOS) and a GNSS satellite. Learn more about how to get access to this data

Free electrons make up Earth’s ionosphere, and can adversely affect radio wave communication. TEC is typically given in TEC Units (TECU), with 1 TECU equal to 10^16 electrons/m². TEC data are commonly ingested into ionospheric assimilation numerical models to better understand and predict space weather, which can affect satellite communication links and electrical power systems on Earth.

Learn more

  1. Olga Maltseva and Natalia Mozhaeva; “The Use of the Total Electron Content Measured by Navigation Satellites to Estimate Ionospheric Conditions;”
  2. International Journal of Navigation and Observation; vol. 2016; Article ID 7016208; 15 pages; 2016.
  3. NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center | Total Electron Content. 2004
  4. Real-Time Ionospheric Maps; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 2018