4-8 July 2016
Kramer Law building
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
Paper Review: Initial screening in progress
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Plasma Drift Modeling: Multivariate Analysis

Presented by Mr. Makhosonke DUBAZANE on 5 Jul 2016 from 11:50 to 12:10
Type: Oral Presentation
Session: Space Science
Track: Track D2 - Space Science


Quantitative estimate of equatorial plasma drift is required since it is a main transport mechanism causing plasma density fluctuations at low and equatorial latitudes. In practice, this has an impact on radio communication and navigation systems. It has been established that taking difference of horizontal magnetic field ΔH between ground-based magnetometers stationed 6 – 9 -degrees off the magnetic equator provides realistic measure of daytime plasma drift velocities. Although drivers of this phenomenon/process could be associated with horizontal neutral wind; its direct measurements are lacking and models estimating it could be unreliable. In this work, daytime magnetic field-inferred equatorial plasma drift is modelled using multivariate analysis. Seasonal, diurnal and ionospheric disturbances are also considered through various modeling inputs as drivers. In contrast to traditional least squares technique, the analysis techniques avoid multicollinearity and uses variable selection methods. The model shows appreciable correlation of the modeling inputs with the plasma drift. Since solar zenith angle is included in the model formulation, plasma drift at other low –latitudinal regions could be estimated. Since daytime equatorial plasma drift is independent of altitude in the range of 150- 180 km, the modelled plasma drift could be verified by satellite data at low-latitudes.






John-Bosco Habarulema, South African National Space Agency and Rhodes University






Location: Kramer Law building
Address: UCT Middle Campus Cape Town
Room: 5B

Primary authors