Performance of Solar Proxy Options of IRI-Plas Model for Equinox Seasons


JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS, vol.123, no.2, pp.1441-1456, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) is the most acclaimed climatic model of the ionosphere. Since 2009, the range of the IRI model has been extended to the Global Positioning System (GPS) orbital height of 20,000km in the plasmasphere. The new model, which is called IRI extended to Plasmasphere (IRI-Plas), can input not only the ionosonde foF2 and hmF2 but also the GPS-total electron content (TEC). IRI-Plas has been provided at , where online computation of ionospheric parameters is accomplished through a user-friendly interface. The solar proxies that are available in IRI-Plas can be listed as sunspot number (SSN1), SSN2, F10.7, global electron content (GEC), TEC, IG, Mg II, Lyman-, and GEC_RZ. In this study, ionosonde foF2 data are compared with IRI-Plas foF2 values with the Consultative Committee International Radio (CCIR) and International Union of Radio Science (URSI) model choices for each solar proxy, with or without the GPS-TEC input for the equinox months of October 2011 and March 2015. It has been observed that the best fitting model choices in Root Mean Square (RMS) and Normalized RMS (NRMS) sense are the Jet Propulsion Laboratory global ionospheric maps-TEC input with Lyman- solar proxy option for both months. The input of TEC definitely lowers the difference between the model and ionosonde foF2 values. The IG and Mg II solar proxies produce similar model foF2 values, and they usually are the second and third best fits to the ionosonde foF2 for the midlatitude ionosphere. In high-latitude regions, Jet Propulsion Laboratory global ionospheric map-TEC inputs to IRI-Plas with Lyman-, GEC_RZ, and TEC solar proxies are the best choices. In equatorial region, the best fitting solar proxies are IG, Lyman-, and Mg II.