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SAMI3_ICON: Model of the Ionosphere/Plasmasphere System

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The NRL ionosphere/plasmasphere model SAMI3 has been modified to support the NASA ICON mission. Specifically, SAMI3_ICON has been modified to import the thermospheric composition, temperature, and winds from TIEGCM-ICON and the high-latitude potential from AMIE data. The codes will be run on a daily basis during the ICON mission to provide ionosphere and thermosphere properties to the science community. SAMI3_ICON will provide ionospheric and plasmaspheric parameters such as the electron and ion densities, temperatures, and velocities, as well as the total electron content (TEC), peak ionospheric electron density (NmF2) and height of the \(F\) layer at NmF2 (hmF2).

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This research was supported by the NASA ICON mission and NRL Base Funds (JDH). A.M. is supported by ICON NASA grant NNX14AP03G. The GPS TEC data was obtained from Madrigal Database at Haystack Observatory (

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Correspondence to J. D. Huba.

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The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission

Edited by Doug Rowland and Thomas J. Immel



The definitions of the terms in Eq. (6) are as follows in dipole coordinates where \(R_{E}\) is the radius of the earth.

$$\begin{gathered} q = \frac{r_{E}^{2}{\mathrm{cos}}\theta }{r^{2}} \qquad p = \frac{r}{r_{E} {\mathrm{sin}}^{2}\theta } \qquad \phi = \phi \\ \varSigma_{pp} = \int (\sigma_{P}/b_{s})\Delta \, ds \qquad \varSigma_{p \phi }= \int (\sigma_{P}/b_{s}\Delta )\, ds \qquad \varSigma_{H} = \int ( \sigma_{H}/b_{s})\, ds \\ F_{pV} = \int \frac{B_{0}}{c} r\sin \theta (\sigma_{P}V_{n\phi }+ \sigma_{H}V_{np})ds \\ F_{pg} = \int r\sin \theta \frac{B_{0}}{c}\frac{1}{\varOmega_{i}}\sigma _{Pi}g_{p} ds \\ F_{\phi V} = \int \frac{B_{0}}{c} \frac{r_{E}\sin^{3}\theta }{\Delta } (-\sigma_{P}V_{np} + \sigma_{H}V_{n\phi }) ds \\ F_{\phi g} = \int \frac{r_{E}\sin^{3}\theta }{\Delta }\frac{B_{0}}{c} \frac{1}{ \varOmega_{i}} \sigma_{Hi}g_{p} ds \\ \sigma_{P} = \sum_{i} \frac{n_{i}ec}{B}\frac{\nu_{in}/\varOmega_{i}}{1 + \nu_{in}^{2}/\varOmega_{i}^{2}} + \frac{n_{e}ec}{B}\frac{\nu_{en}/\varOmega _{e}}{1 + \nu_{en}^{2}/\varOmega_{e}^{2}} \\ \sigma_{H} = -\sum_{i} \frac{n_{i}ec}{B}\frac{1}{1 + \nu_{in}^{2}/ \varOmega_{i}^{2}} + \frac{n_{e}ec}{B}\frac{1}{1 + \nu_{en}^{2}/\varOmega _{e}^{2}} \\ \sigma_{Hi} = -\sum_{i} \frac{n_{i}ec}{B}\frac{1}{1 + \nu_{in}^{2}/ \varOmega_{i}^{2}} \\ \varDelta = \bigl( 1+3\cos^{2}\theta \bigr) ^{1/2} \qquad b_{s}=\bigl(r_{E}^{3}/r^{3}\bigr) \varDelta \qquad s=qr_{E} \end{gathered}$$

Here, \(g_{p}\) is the gravity in the \(p\) direction, \(\varOmega_{\alpha }= eB/m_{\alpha }c\) is the cyclotron frequency of species \(\alpha \), and \(\nu_{\alpha n}\) is the neutral collision frequency with the \(\alpha \) species.

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Huba, J.D., Maute, A. & Crowley, G. SAMI3_ICON: Model of the Ionosphere/Plasmasphere System. Space Sci Rev 212, 731–742 (2017).

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