Global Ultraviolet Imager equatorial plasma bubble imaging and climatology, 2002--2007
A comprehensive database of plasma bubble reconstructions is under development, with results reported here from more than 5 years of Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) data. Climatological statistics of plasma bubble occurrence from this database are presented, including the effects of longitudinal, seasonal, geomagnetic, and solar cycle variations on plasma bubble occurrence. The relationship between the latitudinal separation and peak electron density values of the equatorial arcs and plasma bubble occurrence is also discussed. Since its launch on board the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite in December 2001, GUVI has more than 7 years of observations of the nightside equatorial ionosphere. GUVI is capable of detecting and imaging plasma bubbles within the northern and southern equatorial arcs. An automated algorithm was developed to locate the peaks of the equatorial arcs and detect the presence of equatorial plasma bubbles. This algorithm was integrated with a tomographic imaging model and a statistical inversion technique to reconstruct electron density and produce multidimensional images of plasma depletion structures.
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Journal of Geophysical Research