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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 14, 1375–1390, 1996
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-996-1375-x
© European Geosciences Union 1996

Special issue: VIIIe EISCAT

Ann. Geophys., 14, 1375–1390, 1996
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-996-1375-x
© European Geosciences Union 1996

  31 Dec 1996

31 Dec 1996

Calibration of a numerical ionospheric model with EISCAT observations

P.-L. Blelly1, J. Lilensten2, A. Robineau1, J. Fontanari1, and D. Alcaydé1 P.-L. Blelly et al.
  • 1C.E.S.R., C.N.R.S./U.P.S. 9 avenue du Colonel Roche, F31029 Toulouse Cedex, France
  • 2C.E.P.H.A.G., F38492 St Martin d'Hères, France

Abstract. A set of EISCAT UHF and VHF observations is used for calibrating a coupled fluid-kinetic model of the ionosphere. The data gathered in the period 1200- 2400 UT on 24 March 1995 had various intervals of interest for such a calibration. The magnetospheric activity was very low during the afternoon, allowing for a proper examination of a case of quiet ionospheric conditions. The radars entered the auroral oval just after 1900 UT: a series of dynamic events probably associated with rapidly moving auroral arcs was observed until after 2200 UT. No attempts were made to model the dynamical behaviour during the 1900–2200 UT period. In contrast, the period 2200–2400 UT was characterised by quite steady precipitation: this latter period was then chosen for calibrating the model during precipitation events. The adjustment of the model on the four primary parameters observed by the radars (namely the electron concentration and temperature and the ion temperature and velocity) needed external inputs (solar fluxes and magnetic activity index) and the adjustments of a neutral atmospheric model in order to reach a good agreement. It is shown that for the quiet ionosphere, only slight adjustments of the neutral atmosphere models are needed. In contrast, adjusting the observations during the precipitation event requires strong departures from the model, both for the atomic oxygen and hydrogen. However, it is argued that this could well be the result of inadequately representing the vibrational states of N2 during precipitation events, and that these factors have to be considered only as ad hoc corrections.

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