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Journal of Geophysical Research





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The Atmosphere Explorer-C satellite (AE-C) is uniquely suited for correlative studies with ground-based stations because its on-board propulsion system enables a desired ground station overflight condition to be maintained for a period of several weeks. It also provides the first low-altitude (below 260 km) comparison of satellite and incoherent scatter electron and ion temperatures. More than 40 comparisons of remote and in situ measurements were made by using data from AE-C and four incoherent scatter stations (Arecibo, Chatanika, Millstone Hill, and St. Santin). The results indicate very good agreement between satellite and ground measurements of the ion temperature, the average satellite retarding potential analyzer temperatures differing from the average incoherent scatter temperatures by −2% at St. Santin, +3% at Millstone Hill, and +2% at Arecibo. The electron temperatures also agree well, the average satellite temperatures exceeding the average incoherent scatter temperatures by 3% at St. Santin, 2% at Arecibo, and 11% at Millstone Hill. Several temperature comparisons were made between AE-C and Chatanika. In spite of the highly variable ionosphere often encountered at this high-latitude location, good agreement was obtained between the in situ and remote measurements of electron and ion temperatures. Longitudinal variations are found to be very important in the comparisons of electron temperature in some locations. The agreement between the electron temperatures is considerably better than that found in some earlier comparisons involving satellites at higher altitudes.


Published by American Geophysical Union in Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics. Publisher PDF available for download through link above.

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