ICON Science Questions

Remarkable changes in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere occur at low latitudes in response to disturbances in the solar wind. The electric field induced by the solar wind directly competes with internal drivers (Science Questions 1 and 2) and dynamo fields driven by storm-time neutral winds. Without comprehensive measurements of all the local drivers and the response of the ionosphere/thermosphere system, we depend upon numerical models to best understand the effects of these competing processes. ICON will provide the set of measurements that will allow for the first time a complete separation of internal “wind/wave-dominated” forcing from external “storm-driven” disturbance processes to understand how these processes interact to form the response of our ionosphere to storm inputs.

ICON skin is based on Greytness by Adammer
Background image, courtesy of NASA, is a derivitave of photograph taken by D. Pettit from the ISS, used under Creative Commons license