Team title: Space weather effects on the D-region: measurements, monitoring, and modelling   

Join The TeamTeam ID: G2B-11

Team Leads:

Carine Briand (LESIA-Paris Observatory, France),

Mark Clilverd,

Keywords (impact): Climate, Navigation and/or Communications

Keywords (activity type): Understanding, Modeling, Forecasting, New Instrumentation, Roadmap
Introduction:The ionospheric D layer is one of the most difficult to measure regions of Earth's environment, although it controls the absorption of certain radio waves and connects the neutral atmosphere to the magnetosphere and radiation belts. Disturbances to its electron density can lead to HF communication disruptions, a threat identified by the ICAO. Solar flares, electric phenomena above storm areas, and electron precipitations from the radiation belts are the main sources of D-layer forcing. 

However, the D-layer is located too high for balloons and too low for spacecraft exploration. Only rare rocket missions have performed some in situ measurements. An efficient way to explore this low ionospheric layer is to take advantage of the propagation of artificial VLF emissions inside the waveguide formed by the Earth and the D-layer. Several professional networks have been developed, but Ham radio amateurs are also very active and provide data that can be of interest to the scientific community.

Interpretation of the data requires understanding the ionosphere fluctuations on several time scales, from minutes during solar flares to daily (day/night alternance), monthly (seasonal effects), or yearly (solar cycle). Many efforts have been devoted to modeling since the 50’s, but still space weather services need to be settled.

The first objective of this group is to foster collaboration on instrumental development, bringing together researchers implicated in several networks, and possibly including Ham astronomers. The second aim is to link modeling efforts to remote sensing measurements, in particular for the deployment of space weather services. To reach such a goal, data exchange and diffusion should be improved, which requires more discussions on data management between data providers. Then, complementary approaches like forward or data-driven modeling as well as new projects on IA must be compared. 

Action Topics:

  • Understand and quantify ionosphere response to drivers from above and below
  • Improve predictive capability of irregularities and impact on propagation of radio signal
  • Define optimal observation capabilities for ionospheric services (ground-based monitoring facilities and space missions, especially a topside sounder system)

Cluster with overlapping topics:
G2B: Ionosphere variability

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