Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Magnetosphere Modeling and Validation Efforts Using SWARM, CHAMP, and GOCE Measurements

  • A Ridley (Keynote speaker)
  • Eelco Doornbos (Keynote speaker)
  • I Cnossen (Keynote speaker)
  • H. Wang (Keynote speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Space Weather is a term that is used to describe the time-varying conditions in the near-Earth space environment. Some of these conditions can be detrimental to technologies that are either on the surface or in space. For example, when large auroral events occur, significant amounts of energy are added to our upper atmosphere, causing it to heat and expand. This expansion can cause the density at low- Earth orbiting satellite altitudes to sometimes increase by an order of magnitude. These increases are not well modeled and therefore, the resulting changes in satellite trajectories are not well predicted. As another example, strong currents and electric fields in the upper atmosphere, driven by processes in the magnetosphere, and often associated with the aurora once again, can drive currents in power lines that can overwhelm power transformers. These events have the potential to cause massive power outages in highlatitude countries. Because of the complexity of the thermosphereionosphere- magnetosphere system, it is impossible to predict these types of events without the use of models. Global models of the magnetosphere and ionosphere-thermosphere system are used to predict satellite drag, geomagnetically induced currents, the 5AM1: Thermosphere 42 radiation environment, communication losses, and other space weather driven effects. While the act of modeling the space environment is an important first step, it is crucial that the models be validated against measurements of the near-Earth space environment. The SWARM mission, as well as many other European led missions that have come before it, have played vital rolls in improving our ability to model space weather and its effects. In this talk, we will discuss some of the models that are being used to simulate the near-Earth space environment and the validation efforts that have been conducted using some of the data provided by missions such as SWARM, CHAMP, and GOCE. Particularly, we will discuss long-term validation efforts between the Global Ionosphere Thermosphere Model (GITM), the Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM) and GOCE inferred mass densities and winds in the thermosphere as well as global MHD simulations of the Earth’s magnetosphere and efforts to validate the field-aligned currents produced by the models using CHAMP and SWARM data.
Period20 Mar 201724 Mar 2017
Event title4th Swarm Science Meeting & Geodetic Missions Workshop
Event typeConference
Conference number4
LocationBanff, Canada