Empirical STORM-E model: II. Geomagnetic corrections to nighttime ionospheric E-region electron densities

<p>Auroral nighttime infrared emission observed by the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument onboard the Thermosphere\textendashIonosphere\textendashMesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite is used to develop an empirical model of geomagnetic storm enhancements to E-region electron densities. The empirical model is called STORM-E and will be incorporated into the 2012 release of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI). The proxy for characterizing the E-region response to geomagnetic forcing is NO<sup>+</sup>(v) Volume Emission Rates (VER) derived from the TIMED/SABER 4.3\&nbsp;μm channel limb radiance measurements. The storm-time response of the NO<sup>+</sup>(v) 4.3\&nbsp;μm VER is most sensitive to auroral particle precipitation. A statistical database of storm-time to climatological quiet-time ratios of SABER-observed NO<sup>+</sup>(v) 4.3\&nbsp;μm VER are fit to widely available geomagnetic indices using the theoretical framework of linear impulse-response theory. The STORM-E model provides a dynamic storm-time correction factor to adjust a known nighttime quiescent E-region electron density peak concentration for geomagnetic enhancements due to auroral particle precipitation. Part I of this series gives a detailed description of the algorithms and methodologies used to derive NO<sup>+</sup>(v) VER from SABER 4.3\&nbsp;μm limb emission measurements. In this paper, Part II of the series, the development of the E-region electron density storm-time correction factor is described. The STORM-E storm-time correction factor is fit to a single geomagnetic index. There are four versions of the STORM-E model, which are currently independent of magnetic local time. Each version is fit to one of the following indices: HP, AE, Ap, or Dst. High-latitude Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) E-region electron density measurements are compared to STORM-E predictions for various geomagnetic storm periods during solar cycle 23. These comparisons show that STORM-E significantly improves the prediction of E-region electron density enhancements due to auroral particle precipitation, in comparison to the nominal IRI model or to the quiet-time baseline electron density concentrations measured by ISR. The STORM-E/ISR comparisons indicate that the STORM-E fits to the Ap-, AE-, and HP-indices are comparable in both absolute accuracy and relative dynamical response. Contrarily, the Dst-index does not appear to be a suitable input driver to parameterize the E-region electron density response to geomagnetic activity.</p>
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Advances in Space Research
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