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3-D modeling of plasma bubbles over low magnetic latitudes over the Brazilian territory

Abstract

Through a collaborative Project between the ionospheric group from the Aeronomy Division (DAE) at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Prof. Alexander Carrasco, Senior Researcher at the Los Andes University, Mérida-Venezuela, we intend to model the ionospheric bubbles that occur over Brazil, based on the COPEX (COnjugate Point EXperiment) results. COPEX was an observational campaign coordinated by INPE researcher, intended to investigate the ionosphere at the magnetic equator and at gamogenetically conjugate points. This research is planed to be conducted during the period of 3 months, starting on March 2014, and will be oriented to the following steps: a) Firstly a FORTRAN code that simulates ionospheric plasma bubble in height versus longitude will be used as a function of latitude (3-D); b) The data from COPEX campaign (ionograms, for example) will be used as input to the FORTRAN code in order to assure a good match between simulation and observation. The spread-F in the ionograms at the magnetic equator and conjugate points will be used as an indicative of plasma bubble development. The vertical drift and the time of occurrence of spread F at the three locations will both be used as inputs to the model; c) The influence of the meridional wind and of the zonal electric field in the plasma bubble development along the magnetic meridian will be examined; d) With this simulation we will be able to identify the origin of the bubble at the magnetic conjugate points: if they are part of the one developed at the magnetic equator or if they are eastward drifting bubbles, originated westward from the station; e) The simulation results will be compared to the COPEX observations. With the numerical code it is possible to test efficiently which are the physical parameters that dominates the ionosphere dynamics during the plasma bubble development. The main purpose of this study is contribute to a better understanding of the plasma bubble development over the Brazilian territory, and to establish the initial conditions for a mechanical perturbation or pressure perturbation in the E-F region border at equatorial and low latitudes. If all the physical processes is well understood, we will be able to predict the bubble occurrences in a near future, which will be extremely useful for the space weather studies and application. It is well known that the plasma bubble is the main cause of degradation and even loss of lock of GPS signal. To reach the objectives above described, a numerical code will be developed using the FORTRAN language in order to solve the equations for the electric potential, for the plasma velocity and the continuity equation. The numerical methods used to solve the equations will be the Successive Over Relaxation (SOR) for the electric potential, and the Flux Corrected Transport (FCT) for the plasma continuity equation. The numerical code will become available for the entire researcher from INPE's Aeronomy Division. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARRASCO, A. J.; BATISTA, I. S.; SOBRAL, J. H. A.; ABDU, M. A. Spread F modeling over Brazil. JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL PHYSICS, v. 161, p. 98-104, AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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