Data Assimilation for ESF Plume Forecasts

Eccles, J. Vincent, Space Environment Corporation, Providence, UT.
Roland Tsunoda, SRI, Palo Alto, CA.

Presented at the 1999 Fall AGU in San Francisco, CA.
We thank the National Space Weather Program and the National Science Foundation for supporting this work.


Ionosonde data from the WestPac 1999 campaign is assimilated into a sector model of the ionosphere to produce a background ionosphere spectification and forecast for the Western Pacific sector. The comparison of results with and without assimiated data demonstrates significant improvement may be provided for the magnetic meridian. The improved meridian specification and forecast should help in forecasting electrodynamics effects and instability effects in the low-latitude ionosphere.
Ionosondes within 5 deg of the dip equator can be used to estimate the vertical plasma drift near sunset. Ionosondes greater than 5 deg can be used to estimate the meridional neutral wind. The model ionosphere is used provide a full sector description of the ionospheric parameters. Instability conditions are examined using linear, flux-tube-integrated Rayleigh-Taylor growth rates and a non-linear model of plasma plumes.

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