Online, automatic, ionospheric maps: IRI-PLAS-MAP

ARIKAN F. G., SEZEN U., Gulyaeva T. L., CILIBAS O.

ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH, vol.55, no.8, pp.2106-2113, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.asr.2014.10.016
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2106-2113
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Global and regional behavior of the ionosphere is an important component of space weather. The peak height and critical frequency of ionospheric layer for the maximum ionization, namely, hmF2 and foF2, and the total number of electrons on a ray path, Total Electron Content (TEC), are the most investigated and monitored values of ionosphere in capturing and observing ionospheric variability. Typically ionospheric models such as International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) can provide electron density profile, critical parameters of ionospheric layers and Ionospheric electron content for a given location, date and time. Yet, IRI model is limited by only foF2 STORM option in reflecting the dynamics of ionospheric/plasmaspheric/geomagnetic storms. Global Ionospheric Maps (GIM) are provided by IGS analysis centers for global TEC distribution estimated from ground-based GPS stations that can capture the actual dynamics of ionosphere and plasmasphere, but this service is not available for other ionospheric observables. In this study, a unique and original space weather service is introduced as IRI-PLAS-MAP from IRI-PLAS-MAP assimilates the GIM-TEC values into IRI Extended to Plasmasphere (IRI-Plas) model for a user defined region, date and time period, thus integrating the ionospheric dynamics into the model. The user can choose to compute IRI-PLAS-TEC, -foF2, -hmF2 or the W-index (an indicator of ionospheric disturbance) by assimilating either one-hour time resolution UHRG GIM or two-hour time resolution JPL GIM. IRI-PLAS-MAP can provide hmF2, foF2, TEC and W-index maps in both IGS standard IONEX text file format and graphical format. The desired IRI-PLAS-MAPs can be downloaded through the link that is sent to the user e-mail when the files are ready. This unique service allows the users from all disciplines to observe, model and monitor ionospheric parameters of space weather. (C) 2014 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.