National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Thermospheric wind and the evolution of the ionospheric and magnetospheric electron and ion densities at altitudes below 4000 km during geomagnetic storms

ROSES ID: NNH13ZDA001N      Selection Year: 2013      

Program Element: Focused Science Topic

Principal Investigator: Vikas Sonwalkar

Affiliation(s): University of Alaska Fairbanks


We propose a four-year data analysis and numerical simulation program to study how thermospheric winds influence the evolution of the ionospheric and magnetospheric electron and ion (H+, He+, O+) densities during geomagnetic storms. We will use whistler mode radio sounding data and ray tracing simulations to obtain electron and ion densities and field aligned irregularities (FAI) at <4000 km altitude along the geomagnetic field line over a wide range of latitudes. Using SAMI2 numerical model, we will perform simulations to determine the thermospheric wind parameters needed to explain the evolution of electron and ion density as obtained from the radio sounding data. Measurements of electron density, ion composition, geomagnetic field, and thermospheric wind from various in situ (e.g. CHAMP, DMSP) and ground sources (e.g. Ionosonde) will be used to augment radio sounding results. We will interpret results of data analysis and simulations in terms of the physics of the coupling of thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system. An improved understanding of this system is essential for improving our ability to develop useful predictive models of satellite drag and ionospheric and magnetospheric electron density and ion composition variations during geomagnetic storms.


Performance YearReferenceActions
1Sonwalkar, V. S.; Reddy, A.; Mayank, K.; Hazra, S.; Carpente...
1Reddy, A.; Sonwalkar, V. S.; (2015), Variation of Plasma...
1Sonwalkar, V. S.; Taylor, C.; Reddy, A.; (2015), IMAGE...
1Sonwalkar, V. S.; Reddy, A.; Huba, J.; (2016), Compari...

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