IONOSPHERIC DATA ASSIMILATION AND ENSEMBLE FORECASTING
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Monday March 9th 12:00PM
Earth's ionosphere presents a threat to human activities such as satellite positioning and timing, radio communications and surveillance. Nowcasts and forecasts of the ionosphere could help mitigate these damaging effects. Recent advances in the field of ionospheric imaging and new storm-time ionospheric forecasting techniques are presented here. The approach combines Total Electron Content (TEC) measurements with an ensemble of coupled thermosphere-ionosphere models to produce short-term forecasts during a storm. A review of ionospheric physics will also be given. The relationship between data assimilation and forecasting is explored with reference to the physics of the thermosphere-ionosphere system. An important conclusion of this work is that thermospheric composition can be inferred from measurements of ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC). Future directions, including the inference of Solar and geomagnetic drivers and coupling with lower-atmospheric models will be discussed.