Session SWR4 - Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Thermosphere Coupling

Lucilla Alfonsi (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy), Yaqi Jin (University of Oslo, Norway), Eelco Doornbos (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), The Netherlands)

The session focuses on the state-of-the-art understanding of the complex mechanisms ruling the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere (M-I-T) coupling and how it translates into space weather impacts. Such an understanding is fundamental for the development of effective countermeasures against disruption, failure and deterioration of vulnerable technologies, such as GNSS critical applications, HF/VHF/UHF radio communications and LEO satellites operations. In order to forecast, warn, and mitigate adverse space weather effects, a better understanding of the M-I-T coupling plays a key role. It is essential to improve the prediction of: geomagnetic storm-time behaviour of the occurrence of spread-F, polar cap patches and scintillation phenomena that can degrade navigation and communication systems, thermospheric density variability affecting satellite drag and the enhancement of field-aligned currents, just to mention a few examples. Another crucial aspect of M-I-T coupling is the interhemispheric symmetric/asymmetric response to variable drivers that, if properly predicted, could support regional space weather modelling. Contributed papers may address (but are not limited to) recent developments in modelling and forecasting, monitoring methodologies, data analysis, measurement campaigns and international initiatives related to M-I-T coupling and associated threats on systems, at regional and global scale.