On the Analytical Description of the Topside Ionosphere by NeQuick: Modeling the Scale Height through COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Selected Data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Alessio Pignalberi
  • Michael Pezzopane
  • Haris Haralambous
  • Bruno Nava
  • Pierdavide Coisson

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Frederick University
  • Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
  • Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris


The analytical description of the topside ionosphere included in the NeQuick model is studied in detail. First, the modeled scale height behavior is analyzed at infinity and for the lowest part of the topside region; in the latter case, the analysis is done through an expansion in Taylor series near the F2-layer peak. Moreover, the significant influence of the three NeQuick topside parameters in the modeling of the topside profile is investigated in detail and, in particular, it is shown that for the lowest part of the topside the model assumes a linearly increasing trend of the topside scale height. Second, the topside formulation is inverted to derive a fully analytical expression of the topside scale height as a function of the electron density and F2-layer peak parameters. This expression has been applied to a selected and very reliable dataset of Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC)/FORMOSAT-3 radio occultation profiles. Statistical analyses strongly support the hypothesis embedded in NeQuick regarding the linear trend of the topside scale height for the lowest part of the topside.


Original languageEnglish
Article number9072529
Pages (from-to)1867-1878
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • and Climate (COSMIC)/FORMOSAT-3 radio occultation data, Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, NeQuick model, topside ionosphere modeling, topside scale height