EGU2020-7386, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Visualizing models and observations of the thermosphere-ionosphere in support of the ESA EE10 candidate mission Daedalus

Eelco Doornbos1, Theodoros Sarris2, Stylianos Tourgaidis2, Panagiotis Pirnaris2, Stephan Buchert3, Hanli Liu4, Gang Lu4, and Federico Gasperini4
Eelco Doornbos et al.
  • 1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands (
  • 2Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh), Department of Engineering, Xanthi, Greece
  • 3IRF Uppsala, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 4High Altitude Observatory (HAO/NCAR), Boulder CO, USA

Daedalus is a new satellite mission concept for studying the lower thermosphere-ionosphere (LTI). The mission is currently undergoing Phase 0 studies, funded by ESA as one of three missions that are candidates for becoming its Earth Explorer 10 mission (EE10).

Using an elliptical orbit with a very low perigee (140 km and lower), the mission will make comprehensive in-situ measurements, including local density, composition, temperature and velocities of both the neutral and charged particles. An option of having two Daedalus satellites is being studied to allow better separation of temporal and spatial variability, and to better measure the strong vertical gradients and wave activity that occur in the LTI. The complete suite of instruments on Daedalus will allow the computation of higher level products such as local collision frequencies, conductivities and heating rates, along the orbit. The unique complementarity of instrumentation and orbit sampling over a large range of altitudes will be extremely valuable in advancing the science of the LTI region, which is a key region for many space weather phenomena.

High quality visualizations of models and data are very important during the definition of the mission. They allow both experts and newcomers to the field to better comprehend the physics of the LTI region, how it couples with other regions and systems, as well as how Daedalus will be able to sample this region from its unconventional orbit. The presentation will showcase 2D and 3D visuals that were developed during the phase 0 studies, and that make use of empirical and physics-based models of the thermosphere-ionosphere, Earth's magnetic field and simulated satellite orbits.

How to cite: Doornbos, E., Sarris, T., Tourgaidis, S., Pirnaris, P., Buchert, S., Liu, H., Lu, G., and Gasperini, F.: Visualizing models and observations of the thermosphere-ionosphere in support of the ESA EE10 candidate mission Daedalus, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7386,, 2020

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Display material version 2 – uploaded on 01 May 2020
Added logo on first slide, small modifications to the text for correcting typos and clarifications.
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-7386, Armin Corbin, 04 May 2020

    Thanks for sharing your animations and making the code available to everyone! Currently, I use Para View for 3D Animations of TIE-GCM output. Once you know how to proceed (, it is quiet easy to generate good looking animations directly from the output  netcdf files, e.g.,

    I like the idea of using blender for this kind of animation.  When the code is available I will give it a try.

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Eelco Doornbos, 04 May 2020

      Thanks for your comment. I looked into paraview some time ago. It is probably easier to set up these types of visualisations in paraview, but I found that in comparison, Blender offers more (infinite?) flexibility. I also want to combine the TIE-GCM and WACCM visualisations with satellite orbits, magnetospheric field lines, attach the lights and camera to various reference frames, etc. The Python integration of Blender and various existing Python packages make this possible.

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-7386, Anna Morozova, 04 May 2020

    Thank you for the presentation and for shering your code



Display material version 1 – uploaded on 01 May 2020, no comments