Supporting ITM Missions by Observing System Simulation Experiments: Initial Design, Challenges and Perspectives
Abstract:We review and discuss the capability of novel configurations of global community (WACCM-X and TIME-GCM) and planned-operational (WAM) models to support current and forthcoming space-borne missions to monitor the dynamics and composition of the Ionosphere-Thermosphere-Mesosphere (ITM) system. In the specified meteorology model configuration of WACCM-X, the lower atmosphere is constrained by operational analyses and/or short-term forecasts provided by the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS-5) of GMAO/NASA/GSFC. With the terrestrial weather of GEOS-5 and updated model physics, WACCM-X simulations are capable to reproduce the observed signatures of the perturbed wave dynamics and ion-neutral coupling during recent (2006-2013) stratospheric warming events, short-term, annual and year-to-year variability of prevailing flows, planetary waves, tides, and composition. With assimilation of the NWP data in the troposphere and stratosphere the planned-operational configuration of WAM can also recreate the observed features of the ITM day-to-day variability.
These “terrestrial-weather” driven whole atmosphere simulations, with day-to-day variable solar and geomagnetic inputs, can provide specification of the background state (first guess) and errors for the inverse algorithms of forthcoming NASA ITM missions, such as ICON and GOLD. With two different viewing geometries (sun-synchronous, for ICON and geostationary for GOLD) these missions promise to perform complimentary global observations of temperature, winds and constituents to constrain the first-principle space weather forecast models. The paper will discuss initial designs of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE) in the coupled simulations of TIME-GCM/WACCM-X/GEOS5 and WAM/GIP. As recognized, OSSE represent an excellent learning tool for designing and evaluating observing capabilities of novel sensors. The choice of assimilation schemes, forecast and observational errors will be discussed along with challenges and perspectives to constrain fast-varying dynamics of tides and planetary waves by observations made from sun-synchronous and geostationary space-borne platforms. We will also discuss how correlative space-borne and ground-based observations can evaluate OSSE results.