2011 SuperDARN Workshop
Convection mapping with Swarm satellite and SuperDARN radar data
R.A.D. Fiori (1), D.H. Boteler (1), D. Knudsen (2), J. Burchill (2), C. Blais (1)
(1) Geomagnetic Laboratory, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
(2) University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
abstract. In 2012 the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch the Swarm mission to provide the best ever survey of the geomagnetic field and the first global representation of its variation on time scales from hours to years (Friis-Christensen et al., 2006; 2008). The Swarm satellites will make continuous observations of the ionospheric plasma drift, making it an ideal instrument for mapping the ionospheric convection pattern. In this report, the spherical cap harmonic analysis (SCHA) technique developed for mapping the magnetic field based on observations covering a cap-like region of the spherical Earth (Haines 1985; 1988; 2007) has been adapted for mapping convection based on ion drift measurements from the Canadian Electric Field Instrument onboard the Swarm satellites. In a previous internal study, convection maps were generated based solely on Swarm measurements. Although it was possible to create such maps, the region of the map constrained by data was limited to a narrow track surrounding the footprints of the satellite trajectory, and it was not possible to create a global picture of the plasma flow based on a single pass of the Swarm satellites. To increase the mapping region, measurements from the SuperDARN radar array are added to the Swarm data set. It is shown that the combination of the Swarm and SuperDARN data sets increases both the region of convection constrained by measurements, and the accuracy of the resultant convection maps that could be generated based on data from either instrument alone.