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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-136
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-136
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 18 Sep 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 18 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Ionospheric Plasma Density Measurements by Swarm Langmuir Probes: Limitations and possible Corrections

Piero Diego1, Igino Coco2, Igor Bertello1, Maurizio Candidi1, and Pietro Ubertini1 Piero Diego et al.
  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, Rome, Italy
  • 2Istituto di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, via Vigna Murata, Rome 605, Italy

Abstract. The ESA Swarm constellation includes three satellites, which have been observing the Earth's ionosphere since November 2013, following polar orbits. The main ionospheric plasma parameters, such as electron density and temperature, are measured by means of Langmuir probes (Lps); electron density measurements, in particular, are nowadays largely considered as qualitatively reliable, and have been used in several published papers to date. In this work, we aim to discuss how some technical characteristics of Swarm Lps, such as their size and location on board the satellites, as well as the operational setup of the instruments, could lead to limitations in their accuracy if one underestimates the influence of satellite proximity, and the larger extension of the plasma sheath surrounding the probes due to the operational point of the voltage ripple. Two specific corrections are proposed for the assessment and possible mitigation of such effects. Finally, a comparison is made with electron density measurements from CSES-01 mission, which relies on Langmuir probes as well, whose geometry and operating mode are standard.

Piero Diego et al.
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Piero Diego et al.
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Latest update: 13 Oct 2019
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Short summary
In-situ measurements validation is always a delicate matter of study until data are collected by a single mission. In case of different missions operating almost in the same environment (i.e. latitude, altitude, local time) it is of fundamental importance the detection of instrumental setting and algorithms to provide the best accordance among measurements. The present work aims to validate both Swarm and CSES plasma density measures for the improvements of the ionospheric models development.
In-situ measurements validation is always a delicate matter of study until data are collected by...
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