A 2-D comparison of ionospheric convection derived from SuperDARN and DMSP measurements

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Scientific paper

Ion drift vectors measured by the DMSP satellites are compared with plasma convection vectors obtained by the SuperDARN HF radars through the standard Map Potential algorithm of Ruohoniemi and Baker [Ruohoniemi, M., Baker, K.B. Large-scale imaging of high-latitude convection with super dual auroral radar network HF radar observations. J. Geophys. Res. 103, 20797 20811, 1998]. Despite significant data spread, the agreement can be qualified as reasonable for a data set comprising of 149 satellite passes over the Northern Hemisphere at high latitudes. The slope of the best-fit line relating SuperDARN and DMSP velocity magnitudes is of the order of 0.3 with a tendency for the SuperDARN velocities to be smaller. The agreement between the azimuths of the ion drift and convection is better with the slope of the best-fit line being close to 1. It is shown that consistency between the radar and satellite measurements is much better if the SuperDARN line-of-sight velocities are compared with the DMSP cross-track ion drifts for events showing slow spatial and temporal variations of the convection. If areas of strong convection changes are included into comparison, the degree of agreement deteriorates drastically. This result implies that differences in the spatial and temporal resolutions of DMSP and SuperDARN measurements are crucial factors contributing to the observed discrepancies. In addition, some differences are introduced when the SuperDARN line-of-sight velocities are filtered and reprocessed into vectors with the application of a background convection model.

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