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Observations and modeling of the ionospheric gravity and diamagnetic current systems from CHAMP and Swarm measurements
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    Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 121(1), 589-601.
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    Abstract The CHAMP and Swarm satellites, which provide high-quality magnetic field measurements in low-altitude polar orbits, are ideally suited for investigating ionospheric current systems. In this study, we focus on the F region low-latitude gravity and diamagnetic currents which are prominent in the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) region in the North and South Hemisphere. During its 10 year mission, CHAMP has sampled nearly the entire altitude range of the EIA, offering the opportunity to study these currents from above, inside, and below their source region. The Swarm constellation offers the unique opportunity to study near-simultaneous measurements of the current systems at different longitudinal separations. In this study, we present new observations of these current systems, investigate their seasonal and local time dependence, investigate the use of in situ electron density measurements as a proxy for the magnetic perturbations, and compute the longitudinal self correlation of these currents. We find that these currents are strongest during spring and fall, produce nighttime magnetic fields at satellite altitude of up to 5–7 nT during solar maximum, 2–3 nT during solar minimum, and are highly correlated with in situ electron density measurements. We also find these currents are self-correlated above 70% up to 15° longitude in both hemispheres during the evening.
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