Reconstruction of F2 layer peak electron density based on operational vertical total electron content maps
Electron density is the major determining parameter of the ionosphere. Especially the maximum electron density of the F2 layer in the ionosphere,
NmF2, is of particular interest with regard to the HF radio communication applications as well as for characterizing the ionosphere. In this paper we present a new method to generate global maps of
NmF2. The main principle behind this approach is to use the information about the current state of the ionosphere included in global total electron content (TEC) maps as well as the relationship between total electron content, equivalent slab thickness and F2 layer peak density. Modeling of slab thickness is an interim step in our reconstruction approach. Thus, results showing the diurnal and seasonal variations and effects of solar activity on the modeled slab thickness values are given.
In addition a comparison of the reconstructed NmF2 maps with measurements from several ionosonde stations as well as with the global NmF2 model NPDM is presented.
Since 2011 the described method has been used at DLR Neustrelitz to generate NmF2 maps as operational service. These maps are freely available via the Space Weather Application Center Ionosphere SWACI ( http://swaciweb.dlr.de_blankhttp://swaciweb.dlr.de).