Thermosphere - Ionosphere - Mesosphere
Aeronomy (TIMA) Programme

The Thermosphere - Ionosphere - Mesosphere Aeronomy (TIMA) programme studies the dissipation of energy in the polar mesosphere and thermosphere through coupling to the ionosphere and lower altitudes.

The TIMA research programme focuses on the altitude range from 60 to 500km where the plasma of the ionosphere interfuses with the neutral atmosphere of the mesosphere and thermosphere. This region both influences, and is influenced by, the magnetosphere above and the neutral atmosphere below and is the 'skin' between the life sustaining lower atmosphere and outer space. It is the region of geospace where physical and chemical processes have the greatest societal impact and, conversely, where society is likely to have the greatest effect on geospace.

It is the region in which power input from aurorae, transfer of magnetospheric electric field energy to the neutral atmosphere, energy dissipation through charged particle precipitation, anthropogenically induced temperature changes, modification of VLF, MF and HF radio communications, electrical currents and the breaking of upward propagating gravity, tidal and planetary waves all maximise. Satellite orbits, communications, electrical grid systems, oil pipelines, aeromagnetic prospecting and space technology can all be adversely affected by the processes in this region and efforts to better understand them are both timely and commercially relevant.

Features of the programme


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