Local-time Variation of Nitric Oxide: Modeling and Observations

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Cissi Ying-tsen Lin1,2, Scott Martin Bailey1, Justin D Yonker3, Karthik Venkataramani1 and Yue Deng2, (1)VA Tech, Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering, Blacksburg, VA, United States, (2)University of Texas Arlington, Arlington, TX, United States, (3)National Center for Atmospheric Research, High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, CO, United States
NO, a minor species in the thermosphere, is an important indicator of energy balance. It also has the lowest ionization threshold so is the terminal ion in the ionospheric E-region. Solar soft X-ray energy between 0.1 and 7 nm is absorbed mostly in the lower thermosphere between 100 and 150 km. Photoelectrons are created and initiate chains of photochemical reactions which leads to the production of nitric oxide (NO). On the other hand, solar irradiance longer than 150 nm destroys NO. In this study, observation of the local-time variation of NO abundance in the lower thermosphere is derived from the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS) measurements in summer 2010. Soft X-ray and EUV irradiance from the Extreme ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) on the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) is used to drive the NOx1D model during the same period of time. By comparing variation of NO abundance at local sunlit hours, the effects of solar irradiance on thermospheric NO photochemistry in the model are examined.