Densities from the CACTUS accelerometer as an external test of the validity of the thermospheric models
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Total density data were obtained from the accelerometer CACTUS on board of CASTOR-D5B 1975-39A. Numerous and precise data were obtained between 250km and 600km altitude in the equatorial region (±30° latitude) for a period extending from May 1975 (minimum of solar activity) to February 1979 (already important solar activity). Since CACTUS data have not yet been used for the construction of empirical thermospheric models, a significant part of the data file is compared with several thermospheric models in order to provide an external test of the reliability of such models. Standard deviations of the order of 20% are apparent. The most significant differences extend over a few weeks and cannot be represented by the geophysical indices as they are presently used in the empirical models. Such an experimental fact suggests that the mathematical and physical aspects of the empirical models should be refined in order to achieve a better representation of physical reality.
CitationFalin, J.L.; Barlier, F.; Kockarts, G. (1981). Densities from the CACTUS accelerometer as an external test of the validity of the thermospheric models. , Advances in Space Research, Vol. 1, Issue 12, 221-225, DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(81)90436-1.