TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 11), pp. 1333-1344, 2013

The Ionospheric Bubble Index deduced from magnetic field and plasma observations onboard Swarm

Jaeheung Park1, Max Noja1, Claudia Stolle2, and Hermann Lühr1

1Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Section 2.3, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany
2DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

(Received March 14, 2013; Revised August 15, 2013; Accepted August 21, 2013; Online published November 22, 2013)

Abstract: In the post-sunset tropical ionospheric F-region plasma density often exhibits depletions, which are usually called equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs). In this paper we give an overview of the Swarm Level 2 Ionospheric Bubble Index (IBI), which is a standard scientific data of the Swarm mission. This product called L2-IBI is generated from magnetic field and plasma observations onboard Swarm, and gives information as to whether a Swarm magnetic field observation is affected by EPBs. We validate the performance of the L2-IBI product by using magnetic field and plasma measurements from the CHAMP satellite, which provided observations similar to those of the Swarm. The L2-IBI product is of interest not only for ionospheric studies, but also for geomagnetic field modeling; modelers can de-select magnetic data which are affected by EPBs or other unphysical artifacts.
Key words: Plasma irregularity, equatorial ionosphere, topside ionosphere.

Corresponding author E-mail: park@gfz-potsdam.de

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