J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 11, 2021
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||22 January 2021|
Plasmasphere and topside ionosphere reconstruction using METOP satellite data during geomagnetic storms
Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Kalkhorstweg 53, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidade de Brasília (UNB), 71910-900 Brasília, Brazil
* Corresponding author: Fabricio.DosSantosProl@dlr.de
Accepted: 7 December 2020
As part of the space weather monitoring, the response of the ionosphere and plasmasphere to geomagnetic storms is typically under continuous supervision by operational services. Fortunately, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers on board low Earth orbit satellites provides a unique opportunity for developing image representations that can capture the global distribution of the electron density in the plasmasphere and topside ionosphere. Among the difficulties of plasmaspheric imaging based on GNSS measurements, the development of procedures to invert the total electron content (TEC) into electron density distributions remains as a challenging task. In this study, a new tomographic reconstruction technique is presented to estimate the electron density from TEC data along the METOP (METeorological OPerational) satellites. The proposed method is evaluated during four geomagnetic storms to check the capabilities of the tomography for space weather monitoring. The investigation shows that the developed method can successfully capture and reconstruct well-known enhancement and decrease of electron density variabilities during storms. The comparison with in-situ electron densities has shown an improvement around 11% and a better description of plasma variabilities due to the storms compared to the background. Our study also reveals that the plasmasphere TEC contribution to ground-based TEC may vary 10–60% during geomagnetic storms, and the contribution tends to reduce during the storm-recovery phase.
Key words: space weather / algebraic reconstruction technique / constrained tomography / DMSP / St. Patrick day
© F.S. Prol et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://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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