Last Updated: 10/01/2023

SuperDARN Convection Models

Version: 4.3.1

SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) convection models are statistical electric potential models for the mid- to high-latitude ionosphere. The first SuperDARN model (RG96) was based on line-of-sight velocity measurements of ionospheric plasma motion obtained from a single high-latitude HF radar, while the most recent models (TS18 and TS18-Kp) are derived from observations from more than 30 radar sites spanning from the mid-latitude to polar ionosphere.


The RG96, TS18, and TS18-Kp models were derived using only Northern Hemisphere observations. The RG96, PSR10, and CS10 models were derived from data with latitudinal coverage limited to ~60-85 degrees MLAT, and therefore may not be suitable for more extreme solar wind driving or geomagnetic conditions.


The model input parameters depend on which statistical model (RG96, PSR10, CS10, TS18, TS18-Kp) is chosen. The RG96 model varies only with the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) B_y and B_z components.
The PSR10 model varies with IMF B_y and B_z, dipole tilt angle, and hemisphere.
The CS10 model varies with IMF B_y and B_z, dipole tilt angle, hemisphere, and the V_x component of the solar wind velocity.
The TS18 model varies with IMF B_y and B_z, dipole tilt angle, and the solar wind velocity V_x component.
The TS18-Kp model varies with IMF B_y and B_z and the Kp index.
By default, the CS10 and TS18 models use trilinear interpolation to solve for intermediate (rather than discrete) electrostatic potential patterns.
The dipole tilt angle for the PSR10, CS10, and TS18 patterns is determined by the date and time by default or can be specified manually.


The model output consists of the ionospheric electrostatic potential (kV) and convection velocity azimuth (degrees) and magnitude (m/s), as a function of AACGM-v2 latitude [Shepherd, 2017] and magnetic local time (MLT).

Model is time-dependant.


  • High Latitude Ionosphere / Auroral Region

Space Weather Impacts

  • Ionosphere variability (navigation, communications)



Code Languages: C and IDL

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