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Comparison of a Neutral Density Model With the SET HASDM Density Database
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  • Daniel R Weimer,
  • W. Kent Tobiska,
  • Piyush M Mehta,
  • Richard Joseph Licata,
  • Douglas Drob,
  • Jean Yoshii
Daniel R Weimer
Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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W. Kent Tobiska
Space Environment Technologies, Space Environment Technologies
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Piyush M Mehta
West Virginia University, West Virginia University
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Richard Joseph Licata
West Virginia University, West Virginia University
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Douglas Drob
Naval Research Lab, Naval Research Lab
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Jean Yoshii
Space Environment Technologies
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The EXospheric TEMeratures on a PoLyhedrAl gRid (EXTEMPLAR) method predicts the neutral densities in the thermosphere. The performance of this model has been evaluated through a comparison with the Air Force High Accuracy Satellite Drag Model (HASDM). The Space Environment Technologies (SET) HASDM database that was used for this test spans the 20 years 2000 through 2019, containing densities at 3 hour time intervals at 25 km altitude steps, and a spatial resolution of 10 degrees latitude by 15 degrees longitude. The upgraded EXTEMPLAR that was tested uses the newer Naval Research Laboratory MSIS 2.0 model to convert global exospheric temperature values to neutral density as a function of altitude. The revision also incorporated time delays that varied as a function of location, between the total Poynting flux in the polar regions and the exospheric temperature response. The density values from both models were integrated on spherical shells at altitudes ranging from 200 to 800 km. These sums were compared as a function of time. The results show an excellent agreement at temporal scales ranging from hours to years. The EXTEMPLAR model performs best at altitudes of 400 km and above, where geomagnetic storms produce the largest relative changes in neutral density. In addition to providing an effective method to compare models that have very different spatial resolutions, the use of density totals at various altitudes presents a useful illustration of how the thermosphere behaves at different altitudes, on time scales ranging from hours to complete solar cycles.
Dec 2021Published in Space Weather volume 19 issue 12. 10.1029/2021SW002888