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Authors: Pietrella, M. 
Title: A Software Package Generating Long Term and Near Real Time Predictions of the Critical Frequencies of the F2 Layer over Europe and Its Applications.
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2015
Series/Report no.: /6 (2015)
DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2015.64029
Keywords: Ionosphere, Solar Activity, Nowcasting and Long Term Maps, DIAS System, SIRM Model
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.03. Forecasts 
Abstract: Long term prediction and near real time (nowcasting) maps of the critical frequency of the F2 layer (foF2), over the geographic area extending in latitude from 34˚N to 60˚N and in longitude from −5˚W to 40˚E, have been provided since 2006 by the DIAS (European Digital Upper Atmosphere Server) system. This work describes the software package PRODUCTION_DATABASE_foF2 & Extract_Real_Time_Grid_foF2 constituted by two original software packages called PRODUCTION_ DATABASE_foF2 and Extract_Real_Time_Grid_foF2 which have been developed in the framework of the ESA SSA Programme P2-SWE-1, in order to provide numerical grids of foF2 prediction on a mapping area more extended than that offered by the DIAS both in latitude (from 34˚N to 80˚N) and in longitude (from −10˚W to 40˚E). PRODUCTION_DATABASE_foF2, by means of the CCIR and SIRM models, provides a database of long term predictions of foF2 for all the months and the solar activities characterized by the 12-month smoothed mean value of the monthly sunspots number (R12) ranged between −50 and 150 with step = 1. On the basis of two effective sunspots numbers, R12eff_Northern and R12eff_Southern, which are calculated each hour using the foF2 autoscaled values provided by some reference stations, Extract_Real_Time_Grid_foF2 extracts from the database of long term predictions of foF2 the numerical grids representing the near real time ionospheric conditions for the hour and month under consideration. Some applications of PRODUCTION_DATABASE_ foF2 and Extract_Real_Time_Grid_foF2 in terms of long term forecast and nowcasting maps of foF2 are shown and their usefulness is discussed.
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