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Authors: Pezzopane, Michael* 
Pignalberi, Alessio* 
Title: The ESA Swarm mission to help ionospheric modeling: a new NeQuick topside formulation for mid-latitude regions
Issue Date: Aug-2019
Series/Report no.: /9 (2019)
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-48440-6
Abstract: The ionospheric topside representation made by the NeQuick model is improved by correcting the H0 parameter used by the model to calculate the topside scale height. The task is accomplished by fitting the NeQuick topside analytical function through two anchor points: the F2-layer absolute electron density maximum; the electron density value as measured by Swarm satellites from December 2013 to September 2018. Specifically, two-dimensional grids of H0 as a function of foF2 and hmF2 are obtained, one by employing data from Swarm A and Swarm C, both flying at about 460 km of altitude, and the other one by employing data from Swarm B, flying at about 520 km of altitude. These two grids are used to calculate corrected values of H0, which allows a more reliable description of the topside region. The new NeQuick formulation is statistically validated by comparing corresponding modeled vertical total electron content values to those derived from COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 measured Radio Occultation profiles, and those measured by Swarm satellites. The results show that the proposed formulation significantly improves the topside description made by the NeQuick model at mid latitudes, for both high and low solar activities. The International Reference Ionosphere model might benefit of its inclusion.
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