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Authors: Pignalberi, A.* 
Pezzopane, M.* 
Tozzi, R.* 
De Michelis, P.* 
Coco, I.* 
Title: Comparison between IRI and preliminary Swarm Langmuir probe measurements during the St. Patrick storm period
Issue Date: 28-May-2016
Series/Report no.: /68 (2016)
DOI: 10.1186/s40623-016-0466-5
Keywords: IRI model
Swarm data
Topside electron density
St. Patrick storm
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.02. Dynamics 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.04. Plasma Physics 
01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.06. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.02. Geomagnetic field variations and reversals 
Abstract: Preliminary Swarm Langmuir probe measurements recorded during March 2015, a period of time including the St. Patrick storm, are considered. Specifically, six time periods are identified: two quiet periods before the onset of the storm, two periods including the main phase of the storm, and two periods during the recovery phase of the storm. Swarm electron density values are then compared with the corresponding output given by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model, according to its three different options for modelling the topside ionosphere. Since the Swarm electron density measurements are still undergoing a thorough validation, a comparison with IRI in terms of absolute values would have not been appropriate. Hence, the similarity of trends embedded in the Swarm and IRI time series is investigated in terms of Pearson correlation coefficient. The analysis shows that the electron density representations made by Swarm and IRI are different for both quiet and disturbed periods, independently of the chosen topside model option. Main differences between trends modelled by IRI and those observed by Swarm emerge, especially at equatorial latitudes, and at northern high latitudes, during the main and recovery phases of the storm. Moreover, very low values of electron density, even lower than 2 × 10^4 cm^−3, were simultaneously recorded in the evening sector by Swarm satellites at equatorial latitudes during quiet periods, and at magnetic latitudes of about ±60° during disturbed periods. The obtained results are an example of the capability of Swarm data to generate an additional valuable dataset to properly model the topside ionosphere.
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