Articles | Volume 16, issue 8
31 Aug 1998
31 Aug 1998

Imaging of structures in the high-latitude ionosphere: model comparisons

D. W. Idenden, R. J. Moffett, M. J. Williams, P. S. J. Spencer, and L. Kersley

Abstract. The tomographic reconstruction technique generates a two-dimensional latitude versus height electron density distribution from sets of slant total electron content measurements (TEC) along ray paths between beacon satellites and ground-based radio receivers. In this note, the technique is applied to TEC values obtained from data simulated by the Sheffield/UCL/SEL Coupled Thermosphere/Ionosphere/Model (CTIM). A comparison of the resulting reconstructed image with the 'input' modelled data allows for verification of the reconstruction technique. All the features of the high-latitude ionosphere in the model data are reproduced well in the tomographic image. Reconstructed vertical TEC values follow closely the modelled values, with the F-layer maximum density (NmF2) agreeing generally within about 10%. The method has also been able successfully to reproduce underlying auroral-E ionisation over a restricted latitudinal range in part of the image. The height of the F2 peak is generally in agreement to within about the vertical image resolution (25 km).

Key words. Ionosphere (modelling and forecasting; polar ionosphere) · Radio Science (instruments and techniques)