DMSP SSUSI Space Weather for Users

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 4:45 PM
227A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Larry Paxton, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD; and R. Schaefer, G. Bust, Y. Zhang, H. Kil, E. Miller, M. A. Kelly, J. Comberiate, M. Weiss, and J. Hicks

SSUSI is the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager on the DMSP F16, F17, F18, and F19 satellites. All instruments are currently operating and producing a suite of products for Air Force Weather Agency. These products and available and described on the SSUSI web page http://ssusi.jhuapl.edu 

This talk will describe the SSUSI utility to the user community and demonstrate how it addresses operational needs as well as basic research investigtions.

The data products (see standard products at http://ssusi.jhuapl.edu/data_products) address current needs as well as evolving needs. SSUSI provides an in-depth understanding of the small scale and mesoscale structure of the Earth's ionosphere. SSUSI produces over 150,000 ionospheric soundings per day. SSUSI has the unique ability to not only determine regions where scintillations occur but SSUSI can also geolocate these regions – something that cannot be done with GPS Radio Occultation. SSUSI provides images of the location of ionospheric irregularities and holes. This is a capability that neither GAIM nor GPS RO can achieve.

Figure 1. Illustration of the impact of an ionospheric hole as imaged by SSUSI. RF comm will follow a different path depending on the location of the transmitter relative to the location of the ionospheric depletion. The solid red arrow indicates the region where HF transmissions will not be reflected by the ionosphere and will be detected from space. The orange dashed curve demonstrates how the presence of a hole affects HF propagation when a model might suggest that one expects the link to close.



SSUSI also provides the unique capability to image the auroral ionosphere as well as the region where auroral energetic particles are present. These auroral particles will create problems with radar clutter, over-the-horizon radar propagation and spacecraft charging. SSUSI provides imagery at 25 km resolution in this region with a revisit time of about 20 minutes. SSUSI produces maps of the E-region ionosphere height, slope, value, conductance, as well as regions where clutter may be observed and products useful for models such as parameters that describe the average energy and flux of the precipitating particles and the total energy input  into the system.

SSUSI can be combined with other data to provide a comprehensive image of the state of the high latitude space weather – a frame from a movie of this can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Northern and Southern hemisphere data from SSUSI, AMPERE, SuperDARN and SuperMag provide insight into the evolving state of the high latitude atmosphere and ionosphere and the drivers that dictate the response of the low- and mid-latitude upper atmosphere and ionospher.

Supplementary URL: http://ssusi.jhuapl.edu