Articles | Volume 27, issue 6
24 Jun 2009
 | 24 Jun 2009

Modelling of N21P emission rates in aurora using various cross sections for excitation

M. Ashrafi, B. S. Lanchester, D. Lummerzheim, N. Ivchenko, and O. Jokiaho

Abstract. Measurements of N21P auroral emissions from the (4,1) and (5,2) bands have been made at high temporal and spatial resolution in the region of the magnetic zenith. The instrument used was the auroral imager ASK, situated at Ramfjordmoen, Norway (69.6 N, 19.2 E) on 22 October 2006. Measurements from the European Incoherent Scatter Radar (EISCAT) have been combined with the optical measurements, and incorporated into an ionospheric model to obtain height profiles of electron density and emission rates of the N21P bands. The radar data provide essential verification that the energy flux used in the model is correct. One of the most important inputs to the model is the cross section for excitation to the B3Πg electronic state, as well as the cross sections to higher states from which cascading into the B state occurs. The balance equations for production and loss of the populations of all levels in each state are solved in order to find the cascade contributions. Several sets of cross sections have been considered, and selected cross sections have been used to construct "emission" cross sections for the observed bands. The resulting brightnesses are compared with those measured by ASK. The importance of specific contributions from cascading is found, with more than 50% of the total brightness resulting from cascading. The cross sections used are found to produce a range of brightnesses well within the uncertainty of both the modelled and measured values.