Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Robert D. Loper, PhD


A range of 14 M-class flares from 1 June 2015 to 27 September 2016 were analyzed to find significant trends in electron frequency profile modeling using the GLobal airglOW (GLOW) model and radar parameters using a ray tracing algorithm developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory. GLOW was run for all the flares using three different solar spectrum schemes and an average of the three: the Hinteregger method, EUV flux model for aeronomic calculations (EUVAC), and a rebinned Flare Irradiance Spectrum Model (FISM) result. Comparing data for the E-layer where GLOW is most accurate, it was determined that GLOW using EUVAC performed best at the peak flare time for determining both the peak altitude and frequency of the E-region, while using FISM as a user-supplied spectrum in GLOW was less accurate for estimating both, likely due to the extreme variations in solar flux, coarse binning scheme, and lack of robust chemistry and energy calculations within GLOW. GLOW did better at predicting peak altitude and frequency than the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI), which is often used as a basis for ionosphere predictions. GLOW also did better than IRI at modeling the radar parameters before and during the solar flares, though no significant trends were found. GLOW using EUVAC or FISM did the best at predicting the radar parameters and their change over time, but the ray tracing algorithm produced solutions that varied between E- and F-layers and O- and X-modes, leading to results that were often skewed or varied drastically in time.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number