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Multi-Instrument Investigation of Ionospheric Flow Channels and Their Impact on the Ionosphere and Thermosphere during Geomagnetic Storms


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During this 12-month project, we conducted detailed investigations on various processes occurring in the coupled system of Solar Wind, Magnetosphere, Ionosphere, and Thermosphere during geomagnetic storms/substorms. These efforts are documented in a series of journal articles [Horvath and Lovell, 2017A; 2017B; 2017C; 2017D]. Our findings contribute to the better understanding of some of the underlying physical processes. This improved understanding fills some existing gaps in the community knowledgebase, adds directly to the MURI-IT project and the ongoing sub-auroral and polar investigations carried out at AFRL, and thus provides advancement in the field of space science. Augmenting our data processing and computational capabilities, we developed two software packages to process GRACE(Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) and GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite data. We also created a series of computer algorithms to compute the numerical values of (i) Poynting flux (S||; mV/m2) by utilizing DMSP data and (ii)field-aligned current (FAC) density (J||; A/m2) by employing solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data. We investigated a number of geomagnetic storms and some magnetically active and quiet periods.



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