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  01 Jul 2020

01 Jul 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Lower thermosphere – ionosphere (LTI) quantities: Current status of measuring techniques and models

Minna Palmroth1,2, Maxime Grandin1, Theodoros Sarris3, Eelco Doornbos4, Stelios Tourgaidis3,5, Anita Aikio6, Stephan Buchert7, Mark A. Clilverd8, Iannis Dandouras9, Roderick Heelis10, Alex Hoffmann11, Nickolay Ivchenko12, Guram Kervalishvili13, David J. Knudsen14, Anna Kotova9, Han-Li Liu15, David M. Malaspina16,17, Günther March18, Aurélie Marchaudon9, Octav Marghitu19, Tomoko Matsuo20, Wojciech J. Miloch21, Therese Moretto-Jørgensen22, Dimitris Mpaloukidis3, Nils Olsen23, Konstantinos Papadakis1, Robert Pfaff24, Panagiotis Pirnaris3, Christian Siemes18, Claudia Stolle13,25, Jonas Suni1, Jose van den IJssel18, Pekka T. Verronen2,26, Pieter Visser18, and Masatoshi Yamauchi27 Minna Palmroth et al.
  • 1University of Helsinki, Department of Physics, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece
  • 4Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 5Space Programmes Unit, Athena Research & Innovation Centre, Athens, Greece
  • 6Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  • 7Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Uppsala, Sweden
  • 8British Antarctic Survey (UKRI-NERC), Cambridge, UK
  • 9Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, CNES, Toulouse, France
  • 10Center for Space Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, USA
  • 11European Space Research and Technology Centre, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
  • 12Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 13GFZ Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 14Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  • 15National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Boulder, USA
  • 16Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  • 17Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  • 18Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 19Institute for Space Sciences, Bucharest, Romania
  • 20Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA
  • 21Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 22University of Bergen, Institute of Physics and Technology, Bergen, Norway
  • 23DTU Space – Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 24Heliophysics Science Division, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, USA
  • 25University of Potsdam, Faculty of Science, Potsdam, Germany
  • 26Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 27Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden

Abstract. The lower-thermosphere–ionosphere (LTI) system consists of the upper atmosphere and the lower part of the ionosphere, and as such comprises a complex system coupled to both the atmosphere below and space above. The atmospheric part of the LTI is dominated by laws of continuum fluid dynamics and chemistry, while the ionosphere is a plasma system controlled by electromagnetic forces driven by the magnetosphere and solar wind. The LTI is hence a domain controlled by many different physical processes. However, systematic in situ measurements within this region are severely lacking, although the LTI is located only 80 to 200 km above the surface of our planet. This paper reviews the current state of the art in measuring the LTI, either directly or by several different remote-sensing methods. We begin by outlining the open questions within the LTI requiring high-quality in situ measurements, before reviewing directly observable parameters and their most important derivatives. The motivation for this review has arisen from the recent retention of the Daedalus mission as one among three competing mission candidates within the European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Explorer 10 Programme. However, this paper intends to cover the LTI parameters such that it can be used as a background scientific reference for any mission targeting in situ observations of the LTI.

Minna Palmroth et al.

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Minna Palmroth et al.

Minna Palmroth et al.


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