Validation of ICON-MIGHTI Thermospheric Wind Observations: 1. Nighttime Red-Line Ground-Based Fabry-Perot Interferometers

Jonathan J. Makela, Matthew Baughman, Luis A. Navarro, Brian J. Harding, Christoph R. Englert, John M. Harlander, Kenneth D. Marr, Zouhair Benkhaldoun, Mohamed Kaab, Thomas J. Immel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Observations of the nighttime thermospheric wind from two ground-based Fabry-Perot Interferometers are compared to the level 2.1 and 2.2 data products from the Michelson Interferometer Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging (MIGHTI) onboard National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ionospheric Connection Explorer to assess and validate the methodology used to generate measurements of neutral thermospheric winds observed by MIGHTI. We find generally good agreement between observations approximately coincident in space and time with mean differences less than 11 m/s in magnitude and standard deviations of about 20–35 m/s. These results indicate that the independent calculations of the zero-wind reference used by the different instruments do not contain strong systematic or physical biases, even though the observations were acquired during solar minimum conditions when the measured airglow intensity is weak. We argue that the slight differences in the estimated wind quantities between the two instrument types can be attributed to gradients in the airglow and thermospheric wind fields and the differing viewing geometries used by the instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JA028726
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • nightglow
  • thermospheric winds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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