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First results from the Swarm Dedicated Ionospheric Field Inversion chain

Abstract : Data-based modeling of the magnetic field originating in the Earth’s ionosphere is challenging due to the multiple timescales involved and the small spatial scales of some of the current systems, especially the equatorial electrojet (EEJ) that flows along the magnetic dip equator. The Dedicated Ionospheric Field Inversion (DIFI) algorithm inverts a combination of Swarm satellite and ground observatory data at mid- to low latitudes and provides models of the solar-quiet (Sq) and EEJ magnetic fields on the ground and at satellite altitude. The basis functions of these models are spherical harmonics in quasi-dipole coordinates and Fourier series describing the 24-, 12-, 8- and 6-h periodicities, as well as the annual and semiannual variations. A 1-D conductivity model of the Earth and a 2-D conductivity model of the oceans and continents are used to separate the primary ionospheric field from its induced counterpart. First results from the DIFI algorithm confirm several well-known features of the seasonal variability and westward drift speed of the Sq current systems. They also reveal a peculiar seasonal variability of the Sq field in the Southern hemisphere and a longitudinal variability reminiscent of the EEJ wave-4 structure in the same hemisphere. These observations suggest that the Sq and EEJ currents might be electrically coupled, but only for some seasons and longitudes and more so in the Southern hemisphere than in the Northern hemisphere.
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Arnaud Chulliat, P. Vigneron, Gauthier Hulot. First results from the Swarm Dedicated Ionospheric Field Inversion chain. Earth Planets and Space, Springer/Terra Scientific Publishing Company, 2016, 68, pp.104. ⟨10.1186/s40623-016-0481-6⟩. ⟨insu-01403974⟩

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