Can Numerical Simulations of Equatorial Plasma Bubble Plume Structures be Simplified for Operational and Practical Usage?

Rezy Pradipta, Charles S. Carrano, Keith M. Groves, and Patricia H. Doherty

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: We argue the merits of having a simplified method to simulate equatorial plasma bubble (EPB) plume structures for practical usage. The capability to realistically model EPB plume structures in simulations would be advantageous when assessing the severity of ionospheric threats. Such advantages would arise because a realistic model of EPB plume structures could allow nonstationary scintillation signals to be simulated. Although EPB plume structures can be modeled via first-principle physics-based models, these models tend to be computationally demanding. High-performance computing facilities might be able to offer some remedy, but serious handicaps would remain for those without access to such advanced facilities. We investigated multiple options that utilize the diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) fractal process to generate bifurcating structures that resemble typical EPB plume structures. We combined the DLA algorithm with the International Reference Ionosphere model to simulate EPBs in three dimensions. Initial tests of this modeling approach indicate promising results.
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