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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2012, Article ID 342581, 11 pages
Research Article

Global Longitudinal Dependence Observation of the Neutral Wind and Ionospheric Density Distribution

Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

Received 4 November 2011; Revised 3 February 2012; Accepted 17 February 2012

Academic Editor: Y. Sahai

Copyright © 2012 Endawoke Yizengaw. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The statistical global view of the low-latitude ionospheric density stimulates further interest in studying the strong longitudinal variability of the ionospheric density structures in low-to-equatorial latitudes. However, we are not completely certain how the electrodynamics and ion-neutral coupling proceeds at low latitudes; in particular, the longitudinal difference in the dynamics of plasma structures in the low-to-mid latitude ionosphere is not yet fully understood. Numerical studies of latent heat release in the troposphere have indicated that the lower atmosphere can indeed introduce a longitudinal dependence and variability of the low-latitude ionosphere during quiet conditions. For the first time, we present simultaneous observations of the tidally modulated global wind structure, using TIDI observations, in the E-region and the ionospheric density distribution using ground (global GPS receivers) and space-based (C/NOFS in situ density and GPS TEC on CHAMP) instruments. Our results show that the longitudinally structured zonal wind component could be responsible for the formation of wave number four pattern of the equatorial anomaly.