Today, Friday December 12, 2014, the defense of the doctoral thesis entitled "Forcing the TIE-GCM Model with Birkeland Currents from the AMPERE Mission" by Santiago Marsal Vinadé was held at the Library of Ebro Observatory, obtaining the degree of international doctor with oustanding mark With Honours.
In a first step, he made use of the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) satellite mission data in the current continuity equation between the magnetosphere and the ionosphere to drive the electrodynamics of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere‐Ionosphere‐Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (NCAR TIE‐GCM), and he validated his results by comparing the output ground magnetic variations with geomagnetic observatory data at different latitudes and for different geophysical conditions. In a second stage, he made ionospheric conductivities consistent with enhanced upward field‐aligned current sectors corresponding to electrons plunging as a result of downward acceleration by parallel electric fields built up along the magnetic field lines, whereby he used different models to validate our output conductances. Results show an overall improvement of the model ability to explain the observed magnetic variations.
The thesis advisor was Juan José Curto Subirats. The jury has been formed by Dr. Jaume Pous (UB), Dr. Christine Amory-Mazaudier (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France) and Dr. Joan Miquel Torta (CSIC-URL).
This thesis belongs to the long tradition of internationally competitive research done in the Ebro Observatory and is part of the research on Geomagnetism and Aeronomy.