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Numerical solution of the partial differential equations that describe plasma bubbles in the ionosphere by the FCT method (Flux Corrected Transport)

Grant number: 23/09051-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Physics of Fluids, Plasma Physics and Electrical Discharge
Principal Investigator:Marco Antonio Ridenti
Grantee:Murilo Pedroso
Host Institution: Divisão de Ciências Fundamentais (IEF). Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA). Ministério da Defesa (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


This project aims to continue the development of numerical codes to simulate a type of ionospheric instability known as plasma bubble and, based on them, structure a comparative analysis between computational techniques employed to solve the problem. Plasma bubbles typically occur in the equatorial ionosphere during the night and are observed in the upper atmosphere over Brazilian territory. When this phenomenon occurs, signals operating in the radiofrequency and microwave range can experience a type of degradation called scintillation, which hampers communication and geolocation by satellite navigation systems. This proposal is a follow-up to the project entitled "Numerical solution of partial differential equations describing plasma bubbles in the ionosphere using the Upwind method," successfully developed by student Murilo Pedroso in the PICV program (Program for Voluntary Scientific Initiation). In this new proposal, we aim to implement the Flux Corrected Transport (FCT) algorithm and simpler intermediate methods such as Crank-Nicolson to numerically solve the hyperbolic partial differential equation that describes the transport of the plasma bubble. The developing numerical simulation code for plasma bubbles will be used as a tool to study the results of the SPORT (Scintillation Prediction Observation Research Task) mission, a partnership between ITA and national and international institutions, including NASA, to study the ionosphere using data collected by a CubeSat developed by the ITA Space Center (CEI).

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