Team of the Living With a Star Focused Science Topic
Mid-Latitude and Equatorial Dynamics of the Ionosphere - Thermosphere System
The overarching goal of this Focused
Science Topic (FST) team is to
advance our understanding of the
mid-latitude and equatorial
the generation of ionospheric
irregularities, the longitudinal
variability of the
ionosphere-thermosphere system, and
the driving mechanisms for the
longitudinal variability. During
geomagnetic storms, the
interplanetary electric field
penetrates to low latitudes,
producing penetration electric
fields. Storm-time Joule and
particle heating in the auroral
zones launches disturbance winds
that propagate to low latitudes,
producing disturbance dynamo
electric fields. The region-2
field-aligned currents generate
shielding electric fields at lower
latitudes that are largely in the
same direction as disturbance dynamo
electric fields and can partly
reduce penetration electric fields.
are also generated by the enhanced
Joule and particle heating and
propagate to low latitudes. In
addition, atmospheric gravity waves
and tides excited at lower altitudes
can propagate to ionospheric
altitudes. All these forcing
processes from the solar wind and
magnetosphere, as well as from
below, affect ionospheric dynamics
at middle and low latitudes.
The research objectives of this FST team are to address the following outstanding
1. What are the characteristics of penetration
and disturbance dynamo electric fields during magnetic storms?
2. What are the longitudinal variations of ionospheric parameters and the
drivers for the longitudinal variations?
3. What are the driving processes for the generation of plasma instabilities,
plasma bubbles and structures at middle and low latitudes?
4. What controls the generation and propagation of storm-time
large-scale traveling ionospheric and atmospheric disturbances?
We will analyze extensive data sets from multiple satellites and
ground-based measurements and run first-principles and
data-assimilative models to address the above science issues.
Models that will be used by this team include: Global Ionosphere
Thermosphere Model (GITM), Multiscale Atmosphere-Geospace
Environment (MAGE) model, Multimodel Ensemble Prediction System (MEPS),
SAMI3, Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF),
Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM),
The Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and
ionosphere extension (WACCM-X), etc.
Data sets include plasma drift velocities, plasma density and
temperature, ion composition, neutral composition and emission,
and neutral winds measured by the C/NOFS, DMSP, GOCE, CHAMP, GOLD,
TIMED, GRACE, and Swarm satellites; GNSS/TEC; ionospheric ion density
and drift velocities measured by ionospheric radars; magnetic fields
measured by the AMPERE network; etc.