Neutral Upper Atmosphere and Ionosphere Modeling

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Numerical modeling tools can be used for a number of reasons yielding many benefits in their application to planetary upper atmosphere and ionosphere environments. These tools are commonly used to predict upper atmosphere and ionosphere characteristics and to interpret measurements once they are obtained. Additional applications of these tools include conducting diagnostic balance studies, converting raw measurements into useful physical parameters, and comparing features and processes of different planetary atmospheres. This chapter focuses upon various classes of upper atmosphere and ionosphere numerical modeling tools, the equations solved and key assumptions made, specified inputs and tunable parameters, their common applications, and finally their notable strengths and weaknesses. Examples of these model classes and their specific applications to individual planetary environments will be described.



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