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Validation of E-region Model Electron Density Profiles with AURIC utilizing High-Resolution Cross Sections
  • +2
  • Md Nazmus Sakib,
  • Emmaris Soto,
  • Erdal Yiğit,
  • J Scott Evans,
  • R R Meier
Md Nazmus Sakib

Corresponding Author:msakib@gmu.edu

Author Profile
Emmaris Soto
Computational Physics Inc
Erdal Yiğit
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Space Weather Lab, George Mason University
J Scott Evans
Computational Physics Inc
R R Meier
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Space Weather Lab, George Mason University


E-region models have traditionally underestimated the ionospheric electron density. We believe that this deficiency can be remedied by using high-resolution photoabsorption and photoionization cross sections in the models. Deep dips in the cross sections allow solar radiation to penetrate deeper into the E-region producing additional ionization. To validate our concept, we perform a study of model electron density profiles (EDPs) calculated using the Atmospheric Ultraviolet Radiance Integrated Code (AURIC; \citeA{strickland1999atmospheric}) in the E-region of the terrestrial ionosphere. We compare AURIC model outputs using new high-resolution photoionization and photoabsorption cross sections, and solar spectral irradiances during low solar activity with incoherent scatter radar (ISR) measurements from the Arecibo and Millstone Hills observatories, COSMIC-1 observations, and outputs from empirical models (IRI-2016 and FIRI-2018). AURIC results utilizing the new high-resolution cross sections reveal a significant difference to model outputs calculated with the low-resolution cross sections currently used. Analysis of AURIC EDPs using the new high-resolution data indicate fair agreement with ISR measurements obtained at various times at Arecibo but very good agreement with Millstone Hills ISR observations from $\sim96$ km to $140$ km. However, discrepancies in the altitude of the E-region peak persist. High-resolution AURIC calculations are in agreement with COSMIC-1 observations and IRI-2016 model outputs between $\sim105$ km and $140$ km while FIRI-2018 outputs underestimate the EDP in this region. Overall, AURIC modeling shows increased E-region electron densities when utilizing high-resolution cross sections and high-resolution solar irradiances, and are likely to be the key to resolving the long standing data-model discrepancies.
11 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Sep 2023Published in ESS Open Archive