Self-consistent modelling of the daytime electron density profile in the ionospheric F region
- Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Postfach 20, D-37189 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
- *Permanent address: Institute for Applied Geophysics, 129128 Rostokinskaya 9, Moscow, Russia
Abstract. A theoretical self-consistent method for the description of daytime Ne(h) profiles in the ionospheric F region measured by EISCAT is proposed. It is based on the use of a theoretical F-region model and measured electron density, Ne(h), electron, Te(h), and ion temperature, Ti(h), and field-aligned plasma drift Vl(h) profiles. The method describes the observed Ne(h) profile with high accuracy for quiet and disturbed conditions. Two versions of the method are considered: in the first the exospheric temperature Tex is derived from a procedure minimizing [log(Ne(h)obs / Ne(h)cal]2, in the second Tex is deduced from the ion energy conservation in the F region. The method allows us to infer from the incoherent-scatter observations: concentrations of atomic oxygen, [O], molecular oxygen, [O2], molecular nitrogen, [N2] the vertical plasma drift, W, the exospheric temperature. Tex, and the shape parameter S in the neutral temperature profile. The ratio ([O+]/Ne) calculated by the theoretical model is used to correct Te(h), Ti(h) and Ne(h) profiles routinely measured with EISCAT which are known to depend strongly on the actual applied ion-composition model. Such a correction is especially important for geomagnetically disturbed periods when the F region is strongly enriched with molecular ions. We conclude that four of the six thermospheric parameters, namely [O], [N2], W and Tex can be confidently inferred from the EISCAT observations, while the other two derived parameters, [O2] ans S are less reliable. The method can be used for the analysis of long-term (seasonal, solar cycle) as well as for day-to-day variations of the thermospheric parameters and the F-region ion composition using daytime incoherent-scatter observations.