EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Plasmaspheric electron density estimation based on COMISC/FORMOSAT-3 data

Fabricio Prol and Mainul Hoque
Fabricio Prol and Mainul Hoque
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The plasmasphere is a region of continuous study due to some open questions related to the plasmaspheric internal dynamics, boundaries, and coupling processes with the magnetosphere and ionosphere, in particular during space weather events. Given such interests, the results of a new tomographic method to estimate the plasmaspheric electron density will be presented. The tomographic reconstruction is applied using measurements of Total Electron Content (TEC) from the Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers aboard the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate / Formosa Satellite Mission 3 (COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3). Despite relevant challenges imposed by the orbital geometry to obtain stable electron density reconstructions of a large area such as the plasmasphere, the developed approach was capable of representing the natural variability of the plasma ambient in terms of geographic/geomagnetic latitude, altitude, solar activity, season, and local time. The quality assessment was carried out using two years of in-situ electron density measurements from spacecraft deployed by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). Our investigation revealed that improvements over 20% can be achieved for electron density specification by TEC data assimilation into background ionization.

How to cite: Prol, F. and Hoque, M.: Plasmaspheric electron density estimation based on COMISC/FORMOSAT-3 data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7526,, 2020.


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