A Comparison of Ionospheric Model Performance for International Space Station Orbits
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
Pagination or Media Count:
The Floating Potential Measurement Unit FPMU aboard the International Space Station ISS monitors the ISS charging environment and provides a unique electron density and electron temperature in-situ data source for the purpose of ionospheric model validation. An ionospheric model that accurately predicts the ISS plasma environment is desirable for ISS mission planning and situational awareness when FPMU data is unavailable. Electron densities and temperatures from four ionospheric models International Reference Ionosphere IRI, Coupled Thermosphere Ionosphere Plasmasphere Electrodynamics model CTIPe, Ionospheric Forecast Model IFM, and Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements model GAIM were compared to in-situ FPMU values across a range of geomagnetic and solar conditions. The climatological and assimilative models IRI and GAIM performed the best overall across all conditions, while the pure physics based models IFM and CTIPe struggled the most to accurately predict the ISS plasma environment. IRI-2012 and GAIM represent the best candidates for use by NASA as an ISS mission planning tool.
- Atmospheric Physics