Swarm – VIP: a model for Variability of Ionospheric Plasma based on data from the Swarm satellites

Elizabeth Donegan-Lawley, Alan Wood, Gareth Dorrian, James Rawlings, Golnaz Shahtahmassebi, Lucilla Alfonsi, Luca Spogli, Jaroslav Urbář, Claudio Cesaroni, Antonio Cicone, Lasse B. N. Clausen, Yaqi Jin, Per Høeg, María José Brazal Aragón, Pawel Wojtkiewicz, Wojciech J. Miloch

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Otherpeer-review


The variability and structuring of the Earth’s ionosphere and its actual state are important aspects of the space weather system. Their good understanding is crucial for building the capability of predicting and mitigating severe space weather effects. For example, ionospheric irregularities can lead to degradation of transionospheric radio waves, and thus they can impact communication or positioning with the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

Through the project Swarm Variability of Ionospheric Plasma (Swarm-VIP), as a part of the Swarm+ 4DIonosphere initiative, we have analyzed spatiotemporal characteristics of ionospheric plasma at different geomagnetic latitudes, and we have developed a semi-empiric model for the ionosphere based on the generalized linear modeling. The project employed data from the European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites, such as the IPIR dataset [1], as well as auxiliary datasets. The Swarm-VIP model determines the probability of occurrence of different scales in ionospheric plasma with respect to geomagnetic conditions and the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. It also identifies the dominant driving processes at low, middle, auroral and polar latitudes, and can give insight into ionospheric structuring and coupling between scales. The model is provided globally, along the whole orbits of the Swarm satellites, and the validation study has been carried out with a network of ground-based instruments. We present the workings of the model, its validation, and compare it with other existing models of the ionosphere highlighting its added value.

The Swarm VIP project is funded by the European Space Agency’s in the Swarm+ 4DIonosphere framework (Contract No. 4000130562/20/I-DT).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022
Event18th European Space Weather Week - Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 24 Oct 202228 Oct 2022


Conference18th European Space Weather Week
Abbreviated titleESWW2022


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