Accurate models of the density, composition, and temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, from ground through to exobase, are indispensible for space operations, remote sensing imagery analysis, and as source terms in modelling software that propagate light or radiation through the atmosphere.
The NRLMSISE-00 model was developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. It is based on mass spectrometry and incoherent radar scatter data, includes drag and accelerometer data, and accounts for anomalous oxygen at high altitudes. It is recommended by the International Committee on Space Resarch (COSPAR) as the standard for atmospheric composition.
The JB2008 (Jacchia-Bowman) model is a newer model developed by Space Environment Technologies and the US Air Force Space Command. The model accounts for various phenomena related to EUV heating of the thermosphere and uses the DST index as the driver of global density changes. The model is complementary to the NRLMSISE00 model and is more accurate during times of high solar activity and geomagnetic storms. It is recommended by COSPAR as the standard for thermospheric density in satellite drag calculations.
Many scientific aerospace models are written in legacy languages that require significant technical ability to install and integrate into modern software systems.
We use scientific models as source terms in our own projects. We know that integration can be time consuming, and we have developed web APIs to these models so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Up to 10k calls per month are free. Contact us for unlimited commercial use covered by a Service Level Agreement.
Try the API here.
We are validating the API calculations against published experimental data and benchmarking against other models.
Results and analyses are available for review on our online repository
The following is a sample result showing the thermospheric densities measured during the GOCE mission, alongside the NRLMSISE-00 and JB2008 model predictions accessed through the Amentum Atmosphere API.