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Optimal interpolation analysis of high-latitude ionospheric Hall and Pedersen conductivities: Application to assimilative ionospheric electrodynamics reconstruction
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    Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, 121(5), 4898-4923.
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  • Description:
    We have developed a new optimal interpolation (OI) technique to estimate complete high-latitude ionospheric conductance distributions from Defense Meteorological Satellite Program particle data. The technique combines particle precipitation-based calculations of ionospheric conductances and their errors with a background model and its error covariance (modeled with empirical orthogonal functions) to infer complete distributions of the high-latitude ionospheric conductances. We demonstrate this technique for the 26 November through 2 December 2011 period and analyze a moderate geomagnetic storm event on 30 November 2011. Quantitatively and qualitatively, this new technique provides better ionospheric conductance specification than past statistical models, especially during heightened geomagnetic activity. We provide initial evidence that auroral images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager instrument can be used to further improve the OI conductance maps. Our OI conductance patterns allow assimilative mapping of ionospheric electrodynamics reconstructions driven separately by radar and satellite magnetometer observations to be in closer agreement than when other, commonly used, conductance models are applied. This work (1) supports better use of the diverse observations available for high-latitude ionospheric electrodynamics specification and (2) supports the Cousins et al. (2015b) assertion that more accurate models of the ionospheric conductance are needed to robustly assimilate ground- and space-based observations of ionospheric electrodynamics. We find that the OI conductance distributions better capture the dynamics and locations of discrete electron precipitation that modulate the coupling of the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere system.
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