TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 4), pp. 351-357, 2011

Local empirical model of ionospheric plasma density derived from Digisonde measurements at Irkutsk

K. G. Ratovsky and A. V. Oinats

Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 664033, Lermontov st., 126a, P.O. Box 291, Irkutsk, Russia

(Received June 7, 2010; Revised March 7, 2011; Accepted March 7, 2011; Online Online published June 14, 2011)

Abstract: Ionogram data from routine ionospheric observations in Irkutsk, Russia using a DPS-4 Digisonde sounder were hand-scaled for the 6-year period from December 2002 to December 2008 to derive a local empirical model of the electron density distribution in the bottomside ionosphere that provides a comprehensive description of the diurnal, seasonal, and solar activity variations of the major ionospheric characteristics. The paper describes the technique for building the local empirical model and the results of comparing its diurnal, seasonal, and solar activity specifications with the standard IRI-2007 climatological model for the same period of time, and retrospective observational data from the Millstone Hill incoherent scatter radar (1976-2002) and a collocated Digisonde (1989-1990, 1998-2004). Reasoning for the observed differences between the three datasets is then provided in terms of background physical phenomena. Primary focus of the paper is the behavior of three F2 layer characteristics: the F2 peak density (NmF2), the peak height (hmF2) and the bottomside thickness (B0).
Key words: Local model, Digisonde, IRI model, diurnal-seasonal-solar activity behavior.

Corresponding author E-mail: ratovsky@iszf.irk.ru

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