Comparison of the USU Ionospheric Model with the UCL-Sheffield Coupled Thermospheric-Ionospheric Model
Advances in Space Research
Several physical models of the high-latitude ionosphere have been developed that describe the time-dependent evolution of the E- and F-region plasma density. The models require a variety of inputs, i.e., solar EUV fluxes, magnetospheric convection, auroral precipitation, neutral atmosphere, etc. Of specific relevance to this study is how the neutral atmopshere is incorporated into the ionospheric models. For the USU ionospheric model, the neutral atmosphere is the MSIS 1986 empirical model, while for the UCL-Sheffield coupled thermospheric-ionospheric model the neutral atmosphere is computed simultaneously with the ionosphere. Both models were run for similar solar and magnetospheric conditions (solar maximum, moderate geomagnetic activity, and winter solstice). Solar maximum conditions ensured a strong coupling between the ionosphere and thermosphere, which provided the possibility of a large ionospheric difference between the two physical models. This was further enhanced by choosing winter conditions so that the densities were not dominated by sunlight. The comparison of the two models indicated that both models predict the same morphological features with similar ionospheric densities, generally within about 30%.
Sojka, J. J., R. W. Schunk, D. Rees, T. J. Fuller-Rowell, R. J. Moffett, and S. Quegan, Comparison of the USU ionospheric model with the UCL-Sheffield coupled thermospheric-ionospheric model, Adv. Space Res., 12, 89–92, 1992.