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Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling via Global-Scale Waves: New Insights from Two-Years of Concurrent In-Situ and Remotely-Sensed Satellite Observations
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  • Federico Gasperini,
  • Brian J Harding,
  • Geoffrey Crowley,
  • Thomas J Immel
Federico Gasperini
Orion Space Solution

Corresponding Author:gasperini@colorado.edu

Author Profile
Brian J Harding
Orion Space Solution
Geoffrey Crowley
Orion Space Solution
Thomas J Immel
Orion Space Solution


Growing evidence indicates that a selected group of global-scale waves from the lower 3 atmosphere constitute a significant source of ionosphere-thermosphere (IT, 100-600 km) 4 variability. Due to the geometry of the magnetic field lines, this IT coupling occurs mainly at low 5 latitudes (< 30 •) and is driven by waves originating in the tropical troposphere such as the diurnal 6 eastward propagating tide with zonal wave number s =-3 (DE3) and the quasi-3-day ultra-fast 7 Kelvin wave with s =-1 (UFKW1). In this work, over 2 years of simultaneous in situ ion densities 8 from Ion Velocity Meters (IVMs) onboard the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) near 9 590 km and the Scintillation Observations and Response of the Ionosphere to Electrodynamics 10 (SORTIE) CubeSat near 420 km, along with remotely-sensed lower (ca. 105 km) and middle 11 (ca. 220 km) thermospheric horizontal winds from ICON's Michelson Interferometer for Global 12 High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging (MIGHTI) are employed to demonstrate a rich spectrum 13 of waves coupling these IT regions. Strong DE3 and UFKW1 topside ionospheric variations are 14 traced to lower thermospheric zonal winds, while large diurnal s = 2 (DW2) and zonally symmetric 15 (D0) variations are traced to middle thermospheric winds generated in situ. Analyses of diurnal 16 tides from the Climatological Tidal Model of the Thermosphere (CTMT) reveal general agreement 17 near 105 km, with larger discrepancies near 220 km due to in situ tidal generation not captured 18 by CTMT. This study highlights the utility of simultaneous satellite measurements for studies of IT 19 coupling via global-scale waves. 20
11 May 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
25 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive