Daytime ionospheric equatorial vertical drifts during the 2008-2009 extreme solar minimum

F. S. Rodrigues, J. M. Smith, M. Milla, R. A. Stoneback

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10 Citas (Scopus)


One of the most interesting observations made by the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite mission was the detection of average equatorial ionospheric vertical drifts that largely differed from model predictions. C/NOFS measurements showed, in particular, downward drifts in the afternoon sector, and upward drifts around local midnight hours during the 2008 and 2009 extreme solar minimum. The unexpected behavior of the drifts has important implications for ionospheric modeling and suggests the necessity for a better understanding of the low-latitude electrodynamics. We used ground-based radar measurements to quantify the seasonal and solar flux variability of daytime equatorial drifts at lower altitudes (150 km) than those probed by C/NOFS (above 400 km). We found that average vertical drifts at 150 km altitude are in good agreement with model predictions of F region drifts and did not show the signatures of an enhanced semidiurnal pattern, as seen by C/NOFS. Comparison of the 150 km echo drifts with model predictions also shows that the increase (decrease) with height of the vertical drifts in the morning (afternoon) hours is a regular feature of the equatorial ionosphere. It occurred in all seasons and solar flux conditions between 2001 and 2011.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1452-1459
Número de páginas8
PublicaciónJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
EstadoPublicada - feb. 2015
Publicado de forma externa


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