J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 12, 2022
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Published online||17 August 2022|
An inner boundary condition for solar wind models based on coronal density
Department of Physics, Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, Cymru, SY23 3BZ, UK
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 19 July 2022
Accurate forecasting of the solar wind has grown in importance as society becomes increasingly dependent on technology susceptible to space weather events. This work describes an inner boundary condition for ambient solar wind models based on tomography maps of the coronal plasma density gained from coronagraph observations, providing a novel alternative to magnetic extrapolations. The tomographical density maps provide a direct constraint of the coronal structure at heliocentric distances of 4–8 R⊙, thus avoiding the need to model the complex non-radial lower corona. An empirical inverse relationship converts densities to solar wind velocities, which are used as an inner boundary condition by the Heliospheric Upwind Extrapolation (HUXt) model to give ambient solar wind velocity at Earth. The dynamic time warping (DTW) algorithm is used to quantify the agreement between tomography/HUXt output and in situ data. An exhaustive search method is then used to adjust the lower boundary velocity range in order to optimise the model. Early results show up to a 32% decrease in mean absolute error between the modelled and observed solar wind velocities compared to the coupled MAS/HUXt model. The use of density maps gained from tomography as an inner boundary constraint is thus a valid alternative to coronal magnetic models and offers a significant advancement in the field, given the availability of routine space-based coronagraph observations.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: CMEs / Sun: solar wind
Note to the reader: An error in the Acknowledgements section was made. The URL was wrong, the correct URL should be : https://github.com/University-of-Reading-Space-Science/HUXt. The change has been made in this new version published on 24 august 2022.
© K.A. Bunting & H. Morgan, Published by EDP Sciences 2022
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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