National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Investigations of the Sources and Changes of the Daily Variability of the Thermosphere and Ionosphere

ROSES ID: NNH07ZDA001N      Selection Year: 2008      

Program Element: Focused Science Topic

Principal Investigator: Wenbin Wang

Affiliation(s): University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Project Member(s):
Burns, Alan G Co-I University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Liu, Han-Li Co-I University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Lei, Jiuhou Co-I University of Colorado
Azeem, S. Irfan Co-I ASTRA


We propose to undertake a comprehensive study of the driving mechanisms of the day-to-day variability of the ionosphere and the seasonal and hemispheric dependence of this variability. While there have been many correlation studies between ionospheric daily variations and solar radiation, solar wind/IMF and lower atmospheric planetary waves, the physical mechanisms driving this variability, the relative importance of these mechanisms, and the seasonal and hemispheric variations of the daily variability have not been fully characterized. We will use the NCAR-Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Electrodynamics Global Circulation Model (TIMEGCM); Coupled Magnetosphere Ionosphere Thermosphere (CMIT) models, European Center Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) reanalysis fields, and observations to address these issues. Four scientific investigations will be undertaken:

1) The impact of planetary waves on ionospheric daily variability using the high-resolution TIMEGCM with its lower boundary being specified by ECMWF analysis fields. Diagnostic analysis will be performed to investigate which planetary waves can propagate into the thermosphere, and the mechanisms by which these waves drive ionosphere variability.

2) The impact of solar radiation, solar wind and magnetospheric conditions on ionosphere daily variability using CMIT models. Diagnostic analysis of model outputs will be carried out to investigate the processes that cause ionosphere variability under these conditions.

3) The relative importance of each driving force to ionosphere daily variability. Comparisons between model simulations and observations will be made to examine the adequacy of the physics included in the model to simulate the observed ionosphere variability, and ways to improve the model.

4) The effect of seasonal and hemispheric conditions on ionosphere daily variability. This includes the studies: what are the causes of the seasonal variations of the ionosphere daily variability; what are the differences between the variability in the two hemispheres?


Performance YearReferenceInvestigation TypeActions
1Burns, A. G.; Wang, W.; Wiltberger, M.; Solomon, S....
not set


Performance YearReferenceActions
1Wang, W.; Lei, J.; Burns, A.; Liu, H.; Xu, J.; Sol...

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