J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 8, 2018
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||06 March 2018|
A new electron density model of the plasmasphere for operational applications and services
German Aerospace Center, Institute of Communications and Navigation,
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 10 January 2018
The Earth's plasmasphere contributes essentially to total electron content (TEC) measurements from ground or satellite platforms. Furthermore, as an integral part of space weather, associated plasmaspheric phenomena must be addressed in conjunction with ionosphere weather monitoring by operational space weather services. For supporting space weather services and mitigation of propagation errors in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) applications we have developed the empirical Neustrelitz plasmasphere model (NPSM). The model consists of an upper L shell dependent part and a lower altitude dependent part, both described by specific exponential decays. Here the McIllwain parameter L defines the geomagnetic field lines in a centered dipole model for the geomagnetic field. The coefficients of the developed approaches are successfully fitted to numerous electron density data derived from dual frequency GPS measurements on-board the CHAMP satellite mission from 2000 to 2005. The data are utilized for fitting up to the L shell L = 3 because a previous validation has shown a good agreement with IMAGE/RPI measurements up to this value. Using the solar radio flux index F10.7 as the only external parameter, the operation of the model is robust, with 40 coefficients fast and sufficiently accurate to be used as a background model for estimating TEC or electron density profiles in near real time GNSS applications and services. In addition to this, the model approach is sensitive to ionospheric coupling resulting in anomalies such as the Nighttime Winter Anomaly and the related Mid-Summer Nighttime Anomaly and even shows a slight plasmasphere compression of the dayside plasmasphere due to solar wind pressure. Modelled electron density and TEC values agree with estimates reported in the literature in similar cases.
Key words: plasmasphere / empirical model / ionosphere / electron density / TEC
© N. Jakowski and M.M. Hoque, Published by EDP Sciences 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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