Open Access

Proxy for the ionospheric peak plasma density reduced by the solar zenith angle

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352938

Received: 17 October 2007

Accepted: 19 March 2008

Published: 29 May 2009


The F2 layer peak plasma density NmF2 is reduced by the factor constructed from the relative changes in the Sun’s zenith angle ξ for a particular local time and the local noon value χ0. Proposed transformation yields a proxy for the peak plasma density which coincides with the source observation at noon but apart from the latter is gradually reduced towards the night. Hourly observations at 8 ground based ionosondes for the solar maximum (2000) and minimum (2006) are analyzed for inter-stations and inter-seasonal correlation of the peak plasma density and the proxy values. The proxy values show improved correlation between the data at different locations and improved inter-seasonal correlations for a particular location due to greater homogeneity of results throughout the year contributing to improved evaluation of the ionospheric weather indices.

Key words

Ionosphere plasma density solar zenith angle