A Comparative Study of Spectral Auroral Intensity Predictions From Multiple Electron Transport Models


It is important to routinely examine and update models used to predict auroral emissions resulting from precipitating electrons in Earth\textquoterights magnetotail. These models are commonly used to invert spectral auroral ground-based images to infer characteristics about incident electron populations when in situ measurements are unavailable. In this work, we examine and compare auroral emission intensities predicted by three commonly used electron transport models using varying electron population characteristics. We then compare model predictions to same-volume in situ electron measurements and ground-based imaging to qualitatively examine modeling prediction error. Initial comparisons showed differences in predictions by the GLobal airglOW (GLOW) model and the other transport models examined. Chemical reaction rates and radiative rates in GLOW were updated using recent publications, and predictions showed better agreement with the other models and the same-volume data, stressing that these rates are important to consider when modeling auroral processes. Predictions by each model exhibit similar behavior for varying atmospheric constants, energies, and energy fluxes. Same-volume electron data and images are highly correlated with predictions by each model, showing that these models can be used to accurately derive electron characteristics and ionospheric parameters based solely on multispectral optical imaging data.

Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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