Multi-instrumental Analysis of the Ionospheric Density Response to Geomagnetic Disturbances

Monday, 15 December 2014
Irina Zakharenkova and Elvira Astafyeva, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France
Measurements provided by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite missions have already proved to be very efficient in investigations of global redistribution of ionospheric plasma and thermosphere mass density during such phenomena as geomagnetic storms. LEO satellites have various instruments for research of the ionosphere response to the space weather events like GPS receiver for precise orbit determination (POD), total electron content estimation and radio occultation, altimeter, planar Langmuir probe, topside sounder, special detectors for particle fluxes, magnetometer etc. In this paper, we present results of joint analysis of LEO satellite data, in particular CHAMP, DMSP, JASON, as well as data provided by ground-based networks of GPS receivers and ionosonde stations for global ionospheric response to the geomagnetic disturbances. We use in-situ plasma density data from CHAMP and DMSP satellites, along with data of GPS receiver onboard CHAMP-satellite and ground-based GPS-receivers to study occurrence and global distribution of ionospheric irregularities during the main phase of the storm. Using CHAMP GPS measurements, we created maps of GPS phase fluctuation activity and found two specific zones of the most intense irregularities – first is the region of the auroral oval at high latitudes of both hemispheres, the second one is the low-latitudes/equatorial region between Africa and South America. The interhemispheric asymmetry of the ionospheric irregularities intensity and occurrence in polar region is discussed. Analysis of the topside TEC, derived from CHAMP onboard GPS POD antenna, indicate the significant redistribution of the topside ionospheric plasma density in the equatorial, middle and high-latitude ionosphere during main and recovery phases of geomagnetic storm. Multi-instrumental data allow to analyze in detail the complex modification and dynamics of the upper atmosphere in different altitudinal, spatial and temporal scales.