The Synergistic Relationship Between Networks of Instruments and Global Models

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Aaron J Ridley1, Jonathan J Makela2, John W Meriwether3, Mark Conde4, John Noto5 and Jeffrey D. Thayer1, (1)University of Michigan, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (2)University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States, (3)Clemson University, Clemson, SC, United States, (4)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (5)Scientific Solutions Inc, North Chelmsford, MA, United States
The use of Global Ionosphere-Thermospheres Models to investigate the physics of the upper atmosphere is increasing. These models can provide a large-scale view of the system, and can provide time-varying 3D fields describing all state variables of the system, such as composition, winds and temperatures of both the neutrals and ions, as well as diagnostics such as forces and energies. Simultaneous access to all these fields allows far more complete characterization of postulated physical processes than is possible when limited solely to the quantities that can be observed. The problem with global models, though, is that the behavior of the model may not actually represent reality in all circumstances. In order to understand when and where this may occur, it is crucial that models be validated against a wide variety of spatially separated data. Ten years ago, the only spatially resolved observational data available for model validation came from satellites. However, for local measurements made from low orbit, it is often difficult to separate spatial variations from temporal changes. Now, with more networked ground-stations available, it is becoming more easy to validate models across regions or even across the globe. In this presentation, examples are shown of model comparisons with networked instruments, highlighting the power of these configurations. In addition, it is shown that the models can be used to help determine possible biases in data, given large numbers of stations.