Tomographic imaging of equatorial plasma bubbles

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Abstract

[1] Recently the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) on-board the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite has detected far ultraviolet (FUV) images of plasma depletions in the low-latitude and equatorial ionosphere. A model of GUVI observation geometry was developed to simulate radiance observations of a model ionosphere. We report on results in reconstructing multi-dimensional electron density profiles from GUVI brightness measurements through the use of statistical inversion techniques. These results enable the global observation and characterization of the structure of plasma bubbles and provide a means to quantify the level of depletion in the structures. Results are compared with corresponding JULIA observations for validation. The ability to globally image and characterize equatorial plasma bubbles provides a powerful tool for understanding this elusive space weather phenomenon.

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