Instrumentation flown on the Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE 2) spacecraft enabled the dynamics of both the neutral and the ionized components of the Earth's upper atmosphere to be monitored over the lifetime of the spacecraft, from August 1981 to February 1983. The direct measurements of global thermospheric vector neutral winds and ion drifts were supplemented by observations of neutral and ionic constituent abundances and temperatures, precipitating particle fluxes and pitch angle distributions, electric and magnetic fields, and global‐scale auroral luminosity distributions. Analysis of this unique and comprehensive global data base has led to advances in our understanding of the manner in which the Earth's thermosphere responds dynamically to the insertion of energy and momentum. We review the scientific progress achieved over the past 5 years through the efforts of members of the Dynamics Explorer science team and the other interested scientists who have used the DE data base to investigate the dynamical response of the thermosphere.
ASJC Scopus subject areas