A Bottomside Parameterization for the Empirical Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Model

David R. Themens*, P. T. Jayachandran, Anthony M. McCaffrey, Benjamin Reid, Roger H. Varney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we present a bottomside model representation to be used by the Empirical Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Model (E-CHAIM). This model features a new approach to modeling the bottomside electron density; namely, instead of modelling electron density directly, E-CHAIM models the altitude profile of the scale thickness of a single bottomside layer. In this approach, the curvature in the bottomside associated with the E region and F1 layer is represented in the scale thickness domain as a peak function centered at the layer peak altitude. The use of this approach ensures the production of explicitly doubly differentiable bottomside electron density profiles and directly avoids issues known to exist within current standards, such as the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI), which has discontinuities in space, time, and in the vertical electron density gradient. In terms of performance, after removing the impacts of hmF2 and NmF2, the new E-CHAIM profile function generally performs comparably to the IRI, with bottomside TEC from both models within 2.0 TECU (1 TECU = 1016 e/m3) of observations. More specifically, the E-CHAIM bottomside is demonstrated to outperform the IRI bottomside function in the F region during low solar activity periods with respect to incoherent scatter radar observations. At high latitudes, E-CHAIM tends to outperform the IRI during winter months by between 10% and 40% of NmF2 while being outperformed by the IRI by between 10% and 25% of NmF2 during summer periods, mainly during the daytime at high solar activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-414
Number of pages18
JournalRadio Science
Issue number5
Early online date16 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2019


  • bottomside
  • high latitudes
  • ionosonde
  • ionosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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