Development of an Ionospheric electron density model or impact assessment of Space Weather
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Charged particles emitted by the Sun cause disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere (i.e. space weather). These disturbances slightly affect radio waves. Radio waves are important for (military) satellite communication. Radio waves distortions can result in, for example, positioning and navigation uncertainties. Short-term forecasts of potential disturbances in the Earth’s ionosphere are hence important for satellite communication. In this thesis we explore the distortions of radio waves in the upper atmosphere (> 50 km) We use an idealised model for the Earth’s magnetic field with a spatially and time-varying electron density model. Electron density variations are induced by ionisations events (e.g. solar winds) and give rise to radio waves distortions through recombination (of charged and neutral species) and diffusion. We will demonstrate that measurement of electron density variations can be used for short-term forecasts. These forecasts provide an early warning system for possible distortions in satellite communication.