Quite frequently visible and uv imagery of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere is used to describe the global scale characteristics of ion density and composition. This invaluable data can be obtained from satellites at very high altitude, providing a complete global picture at modest scale sizes, or from low Earth orbit, where a more restricted view with higher spatial resolution is possible. Here we describe how in-situ data obtained from low Earth orbit can be visualized in a manner similar to optical emission data. With this approach global scale variations of key parameters like plasma temperature and ion velocity can be added to those of composition and density to reveal the evolution of the system in response to external drivers. During times of high magnetic activity the links between key parameters over large temporal and spatial scales can be easily visualized and cuts through the images reveal details that can be used in more quantitative descriptions.
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
Instruments, Science, and Methods for Geospace and Planetary Remote Sensing
9 November 2004 | Honolulu, Hawai'i, United States