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Last Updated: 03/01/2024


Version: 20180525

The SWMF is a software framework that allows integration of various models into a coherent system. The SWMF allows running and coupling any meaningful subset of the models together. The main applications of the SWMF are related to space physics and space weather, but it can be, and has been, used for other applications that the models allow.

Global Magnetosphere (GM) = BATSRUS BATSRUS, the Block-Adaptive-Tree-Solarwind-Roe-Upwind-Scheme, was developed by the Computational Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Group at the University of Michigan, now the Center for Space Environment Modeling (CSEM). It was designed using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) and the Fortran90 standard and executes on a massively parallel computer system. The BATSRUS code solves 3D MHD equations in finite volume form using numerical methods related to Roe's Approximate Riemann Solver. BATSRUS uses an adaptive grid composed of rectangular blocks arranged in varying degrees of spatial refinement levels.

Ionospheric Electrodynamics (IE) = Ridley_serial The magnetospheric MHD part is attached to an ionospheric potential solver that provides electric potentials and conductances in the ionosphere from magnetospheric field-aligned currents.

Inner Magnetosphere (IM) = RCM or CIMI (optional) RCM - The Rice Convection Model (RCM) is coupled in this grouping to improve the inner magnetosphere physics. Energies covered range from 1 to 300 keV.

CIMI - the Comprehensive Inner-Magnetosphere Ionosphere (CIMI) Model, developed by Mai-Ching Fok and Alex Glocer, includes elements of the earlier CRCM model and also covers radiation belt energies for electrons. The IM/CIMI model already includes radiation belt electrons and thus is not offered together with RBE.

Radiation Belt (RB) = RBE (optional, in addition to IM/RCM only) RBE - The Radiation Belt Environment model is developed by Mei-Ching Fok and Alex Glocer at NASA Goddard. It is a spatially 2-dimensional code with extra two dimensions for pitch angle and energy. This model is specific to radiation belt electrons (energies betweeen 10 keV and 3000 keV). RB/RBE is only offered in conjunction with the IM/RCM model. It is one-way coupled (to receive information) to GM/BATSRUS and IE/Ridley_serial models and does not feed back information.


Possible combinations are as follow: BATSRUS + Ridley_serial BATSRUS + Ridley_serial + CIMI BATSRUS + Ridley_serial + RCM BATSRUS + Ridley_serial + RCM + RBE


General SWMF inputs include setting the number of processors and their allocation to the included modules. The date and time to simulate and the length of the run are also necessary.

Inputs to SWMF/GM are solar wind plasma (density, velocity, V_x, V_y, V_z, temperature) and magnetic field (B_x, B_y, B_z) measurements, transformed into GSM coordinates and propagated from the solar wind monitoring satellite's position propagated to the sunward boundary of the simulation domain. The Earth's magnetic field is approximated by a dipole with updated axis orientation and co-rotating inner magnetospheric plasma or with a fixed orientation during the entire simulation run. The orientation angle is updated according to the time simulated or a fixed axis position can be specified \ independently from the time interval that is simulated.


The SWMF only writes run progress to a log file. Each module can produce its own specific output.

Outputs of SWMF/GM modules include plasma parameters (atomic mass unit density N, pressure P, velocity V_x, V_y, V_z), the magnetic field B_x, B_y, B_z, and electric currents, J_x, J_y, J_z.

SWMF/IM returns ionospheric electrodymanics parameters (electric potential PHI, Hall and Pedersen conductances ΣH, ΣP).

Model is time-dependent.


  • Magnetosphere / Global Magnetosphere
  • Magnetosphere / Inner Magnetosphere / RingCurrent
  • Magnetosphere / Inner Magnetosphere / RadiationBelt
  • Global Ionosphere



Code Languages: Fortran 90


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