Letter to the Editor
Effects of hot oxygen in the ionosphere: TRANSCAR simulations
Abstract. Recent studies of the ion energy balance in the mid-latitude ionosphere have led to the suggestion that hot neutral atomic oxygen may play a significant role; the presence of a population of hot O could explain some of the problems met in balancing the ion energy budget for Incoherent Scatter (IS) observations. The aim of the present study is to look at such effects by using numerical simulation. The TRANSCAR model is a time-dependent, 13-moment ionosphere model developed for high latitude studies. It was first adapted for mid-latitude conditions. In a first step the model was calibrated and cross-checked with St. Santin IS measurements for the winter case of 27 January 1972 around noon using, in particular, the MSIS neutral atmosphere model. This provides a reference diurnal variation of the ionosphere. The second step investigated the influence of a maxwellian population of hot neutral atomic oxygen introduced in addition to the standard neutral atmosphere. The paper describes the initial comparison between the model and St. Santin IS data, and then the effects induced by a hot atomic oxygen population.
Key words. Ionosphere (ionosphere-atmosphere interactions; ion chemistry and composition; mid-latitude ionosphere)