Improved Performance by the TIE-GCM with the Inclusion of Helium as a Major Species
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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When considering the neutral constituents in the upper thermosphere and exosphere, helium needs to be accounted for as a major species. As detailed by Emmert 2015, most first-principle models do not consider helium a major species when solving for diffusion and collisions within the atmosphere. First-principle, physics-based models hold a distinct advantage of seasonal variations and spatial resolution over empirical models which leads to a more realistic depiction of the atmosphere. The National Center for Atmospheric Researchs NCAR self-consistent, physics-based Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamic General Circulation Model TIE-GCM has been updated to take into account this neutral constituent in its calculations. The major goal was to characterize this change to the TIE-GCM as a function of altitude as helium becomes a dominant species. A distinct improvement was found in the updated model during lower solar activity conditions and altitudes above 750 km altitudes.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Inorganic Chemistry