Analysis of Ionospheric Data Sets to Identify Periodic Signatures Matching Atmospheric Planetary Waves
Norton, Andrew David
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Atmospheric planetary waves play a role in introducing variability to the low-latitude ionosphere. To better understand this coupling, this study investigates times when oscillations seen in both atmospheric planetary waves and ionospheric data-sets have similar periodicity. The planetary wave data-set used are temperature observations made by Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER). These highlight periods during which 2-Day westward propagating wave-number 3 waves are evident in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The ionospheric data-set is Total Electron Content (TEC), which is used to identify periods during which the ionosphere appears to respond to the planetary waves. Data from KP and F10.7 indices are used to determine events that may be of external origin. A 17-year time-span from 2002 to 2018 is used for this analysis so that both times of solar minimum and maximum can be studied. To extract the periods of this collection of data a Morlet Wavelet analysis is used, along with thresholding to indicate events when similar periods are seen in each data-set. Trends are then determined, which can lead to verification of previous assumptions and new discoveries.
General Audience Abstract
The thermosphere and ionosphere are impacted by many sources. The sun and the magnetosphere externally impact this system. Planetary waves, which originate in the lower atmosphere, internally impact this system. This interaction leads to periodic signatures in the ionosphere that reflect periodic signatures seen in the lower atmosphere, the sun and the magnetosphere. This study identifies these times of similar oscillations in the neutral atmosphere, the ionosphere, and the sun, in order to characterize these interactions. Events are cataloged through wavelet analysis and thresholding techniques. Using a time-span of 17 years, trends are identified using histograms and percentages. From these trends, the characteristics of this coupling can be concluded. This study is meant to confirm the theory and provide new insights that will hopefully lead to further investigation through modeling. The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the role that planetary waves have on the interaction of the atmosphere and the ionosphere.
- Masters Theses