We present an empirical model of the high-latitude air density at 450 km, derived from accelerometer measurements by the CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites during 2002–2006, which we call HANDY (High-Latitude Atmospheric Neutral DensitY). HANDY consists of a quiet model and disturbance model. The quiet model represents the background thermospheric density for “zero geomagnetic activity” conditions. The disturbance model represents the response of the thermospheric density to solar wind forcing at high latitudes. The solar wind inputs used are the following: (1) solar wind electric field ESW, (2) interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) clock angle CSW, and (3) solar wind dynamic pressure PSW. Both quiet and disturbance models are constructed on the basis of spherical harmonic function fitting to the data. Magnetic coordinates are used for the disturbance model, while geographical coordinates are used for the quiet model. HANDY reproduces main features of the solar wind influence on the high-latitude thermospheric density, such as the IMF By effect that produces a hemispheric asymmetry in the density distribution.
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