Magnetic field observations from low-Earth-orbiting satellites provide a unique means of studying ionospheric current systems on a global scale. Such studies require that estimates of other sources of the Earth’s magnetic field, in particular, the dominant main field generated primarily in Earth’s core but also due to the magnetized lithosphere and large-scale magnetospheric currents, are first removed. Since 1999 multiple low-Earth-orbit satellites including Ørsted, CHAMP, SAC-C, and most recently the Swarm trio have surveyed the near-Earth magnetic field in increasing detail. This chapter reviews how models of the main magnetic field are today constructed from multiple satellites, in particular discussing how to take advantage of estimated field gradients, both along-track and across-track. A summary of recent results from the Swarm mission regarding the core and lithospheric field components is given, with the aim of informing users interested in ionospheric applications of the options available for high accuracy data reduction. Limitations of the present generation of main field models are also discussed, and it is pointed out that further progress requires improved treatment of ionospheric sources, in particular at polar latitudes.
|Title of host publication||Ionospheric Multi-Spacecraft Analysis Tools : Approaches for Deriving Ionospheric Parameters|
|Editors||Malcolm Wray Dunlop, Hermann Lühr|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Series||ISSI Scientific Report Series|