Retrieval of thermospheric parameters from routinely observed F2-layer Ne(h) profiles at the geomagnetic equator
Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN), Troitsk, Moscow Region 142190, Russia
2 Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Metaxa and Vas. Pavlou, Palaia Penteli, 15236 Greece
3 Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Via di Vigna Murata 605, Rome 00143, Italy
* Corresponding author: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A principal possibility to retrieve basic thermospheric parameters (neutral temperature Tex, atomic [O] and molecular [O2] oxygen as well as molecular nitrogen [N2] concentrations) from the observed daytime electron density profiles Ne(h) in the equatorial F2-region is demonstrated for the first time. The reduction of a 2D continuity equation for electron concentration in the low-latitude F2-region at the geomagnetic equator (I = 0) results in a simple 1D equation which can be efficiently solved. The method was tested using Jicamarca Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) and Digisonde Ne(h) profiles for the periods when CHAMP and GRACE neutral gas density observations are available in the vicinity of the Jicamarca Observatory. The retrieved from ISR Ne(h) neutral gas densities were shown to be close to the observed ones (MRD < 10%) being within the announced absolute uncertainty (10–15%) of the neutral gas density observations and more successful than the predictions of the empirical models JB-2008 (MRD = 32%) and MSISE-00 (MRD = 27%) for the analyzed cases. The implementation of the method with Jicamarca Digisonde Ne(h) profiles has also shown acceptable results especially for solar minimum conditions (MRD ~ 12%) and higher prediction accuracy than modern empirical models provide. This finding seems to open a way for the practical exploitation of the method for thermospheric monitoring purposes.
Key words: thermosphere / ionosphere (equatorial) / modelling / drag / monitoring
© A. Mikhailov et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2013
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