Studies of the High-Latitude Electric Potential Pattern in the CTIP Model with Radio Tomography Comparisons

  • Emma Louise Whittick

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis explores the use of high-latitude electric potential patterns obtained from the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) as input to the Coupled Thermosphere Ionosphere Plasmasphere (CTIP) model. By using a new method of high latitude convection input it is shown that some improvements to the modelling of the spatial distribution of the electron density can be obtained.
In the earlier versions of the CTIP model the high-latitude electric potential input was selected from a restricted library of convection patterns. By introducing the SuperDARN electric potential data as the high-latitude input it is now possible to model a wide range of different convection patterns, notably patterns occurring as a result of Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) Bz positive conditions. In order to begin to validate the use of this technique, images obtained from ionospheric radio tomography experiments were used to form case studies involving periods of time where the IMF Bz component was either stable and positive or stable and negative. This enabled the ion densities from the tomography images to be compared to the ion densities obtained from the CTIP model output. Initially this was done with two case-studies that had mature interpretations in order to prove that the concept of using SuperDARN convection patterns in CTIP was valid. Subsequent case studies involved using the model with the new convection pattern input method to assist with the interpretation of the tomography images obtained from the Alaskan sector.
Date of Award01 Feb 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SponsorsScience and Technology Facilities Council
SupervisorSian Pryse (Supervisor) & Andrew Robert Breen (Supervisor)

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