Science, Technology and Innovation


Ionospheric Physics, Ionospheric Modelling, Space Weather

Ionospheric PhysicsThe Earth's ionosphere is defined as that part of the upper atmosphere where sufficient free electrons and ions exist to affect the propagation of radio waves. The ionosphere extends from about 60 km up to about 1000 km of height, where it merges into the plasmasphere.

Our Team carries out research on the near-Earth plasma environment, with particular focus on space weather phenomena, which can influence the performance of technological systems.

Ongoing research

Ionospheric Modelling

IonosphericModellingWe study and develop 3D and time dependent global ionosphere electron density models. In collaboration with the colleagues of Graz University, Austria, our Team has developed the NeQuick 2, a model widely used internationally for scientific purposes. One of its main applications concerns the assessment of ionospheric effects on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Ionospheric Data Ingestion/Assimilation

An important research topic is data ingestion/assimilation. Specific algorithms are implemented to incorporate ionospheric data of different kinds into empirical models in order to retrieve 3D specification of the ionosphere electron density for current conditions, also in near-real time.

Space Weather

Space weather is defined as conditions on the Sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere that can affect the performance of technological systems.

We perform analysis of ionospheric data from different sources, especially GNSS-derived ground based, space-based and altimeter total electron content (TEC) data, for model validation and to study space weather effects (e.g. geomagnetic storms) in the ionosphere.

Radio Occultation

Radio occultation techniques are applied to obtain TEC and electron density profiles in the ionosphere from GNSS signals acquired by low Earth orbit satellites.

Ongoing Projects

AiKO Deep LIM Project

Assessment of the Deep Learning algorithm results used to improve the current models' performance in vertical TEC map generation.