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Advances in Space Research

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 46  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 1047 - 1054

Predicting the probability of occurrence of spread-F over Brazil using neural networks

L.A. McKinnell, M.W. Paradza, P.J. Cilliers, M.A. Abdu and J.R. de Souza


The probability of occurrence of spread-F can be modeled and predicted using neural networks (NNs). This paper presents a feasibility study into the development of a NN based model for the prediction of the probability of occurrence of spread-F over selected equatorial stations within the Brazilian sector. The input space included the day number (seasonal variation), hour (diurnal variation), sunspot number (measure of the solar activity), magnetic index (measure of the magnetic activity) and magnetic position. Twelve years of spread-F data from Brazil (covering the period 1978–1989) measured at the equatorial site Fortaleza (3.9°S, 38.45°W ) and low latitude site Cachoeira Paulista (22.6°S, 45.0°W ) are used in the development of an input space and NN architecture for the model. Spread-F data that is believed to be related to plasma bubble developments (range spread-F) was used in the development of the model. The model results show the probability of spread-F occurrence as a function of local time, season and latitude. Results from the Brazilian Sector NN (BSNN) based model are presented in this paper, as well as a comparative analysis with a Brazilian model developed for the same purpose.

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