SWWT Topical Group "Atmospheric Effects"

This page replaces the previous AE website.

Mission Statement

The relationship between neutral atmosphere structure and variability and satellite drag needs to be clarified. This objective can be reached by addressing these key questions:

  1. What are the driver-response relationships, the scales (time and space) of the density and wind variability due to EUV/UV radiation and geomagnetic disturbances, and forcing due to disturbances propagating from lower altitudes?
  2. Which proxies/indices are most representative of solar EUV/UV and geomagnetic activity and appropriate for density modeling? And additionally, what is the quality of their forecast?
  3. What is the accuracy and precision of upper atmosphere density and wind (empirical or first-principle) models, how can they be improved?
  4. What is the accuracy of solar and geomagnetic activity forecasts and how can they be improved?
  5. How should one compute the drag coefficient?
  6. Which density data sets are critically needed to achieve the above-listed 5 key questions, and are these all available?

The AE topical group specifically considers improving orbit determination and extrapolation.



Sean Bruinsma, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, 18 Av. E. Belin, 31401 Toulouse, France
Email: sean.bruinsma@cnes.fr


Current Activities

The ATMOP project is running till December 2013. The first ATMOP thermosphere model, DTM2012, will be released in the summer of 2012 and presented at the COSPAR meeting.

The STSE study is running till April 2013, and the first products (densities and winds at about 255 km altitude) are expected to be available by the end of 2012.

ESWW AE Topical Group Meeting

The last AE Topical Group meeting was held during ESWW in Namur, Belgium, on 1 December 2011, 14:00-16:00 and covered mainly the ATMOP project.


  1. ATMOP - MURI/NADIR (US Air Force grant) workshop debriefing
  2. ATMOP (FP7) – present status
  3. ESA ITT GOCE+ theme 3 "Air density and wind retrieval using GOCE data" – first results
  4. Any other business