AIM-E: E-Region Auroral Ionosphere Model

Vera Nikolaeva, Evgeny Gordeev, Tima Sergienko, Ludmila Makarova , Andrey Kotikov

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The auroral oval is the high-latitude region of the ionosphere characterized by strong variability of its chemical composition due to precipitation of energetic particles from the magnetosphere. The complex nature of magnetospheric processes cause a wide range of dynamic variations in the auroral zone, which are difficult to forecast. Knowledge of electron concentrations in this highly turbulent region is of particular importance because it determines the propagation conditions for the radio waves. In this work we introduce the numerical model of the auroral E-region, which evaluates density variations of the 10 ionospheric species and 39 reactions initiated by both the solar extreme UV radiation and the magnetospheric electron precipitation. The chemical reaction rates differ in more than ten orders of magnitude, resulting in the high stiffness of the ordinary differential equations system considered, which was solved using the high-performance Gear method. The AIM-E model allowed us to calculate the concentration of the neutrals NO, N(4S), and N(2D), ions N+, N2+, NO+, O2+, O+(4S), O+(2D), and O+(2P), and electrons Ne, in the whole auroral zone in the 90‒150 km altitude range in real time. The model results show good agreement with observational data during both the quiet and disturbed geomagnetic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number748
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • auroral oval
  • E-region of ionosphere
  • numerical modeling
  • substorm
  • ion composition
  • electron concentration

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