Empirical STORM-E model: I. Theoretical and observational basis

Auroral nighttime infrared emission observed by the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument onboard the Thermosphere–Ionosphere–Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite is used to develop an empirical model of geomagnetic storm enhancements to E-region peak 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+(v) volume emission rates (VER) derived from the TIMED/SABER 4.3μm channel limb radiance measurements. The storm-time response of the NO+(v) 4.3μm VER is sensitive to auroral particle precipitation. A statistical database of storm-time to climatological quiet-time ratios of SABER-observed NO+(v) 4.3μm 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 quiescent E-region electron density peak concentration for geomagnetic enhancements due to auroral particle precipitation. Part II of this series describes the explicit development of the empirical storm-time correction factor for E-region peak electron densities, and shows comparisons of E-region electron densities between STORM-E predictions and incoherent scatter radar measurements. In this paper, Part I of the series, the efficacy of using SABER-derived NO+(v) VER as a proxy for the E-region response to solar-geomagnetic disturbances is presented. Furthermore, a detailed description of the algorithms and methodologies used to derive NO+(v) VER from SABER 4.3μm limb emission measurements is given. Finally, an assessment of key uncertainties in retrieving NO+(v) VER is presented.
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Advances in Space Research
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