The Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) at the Center for Space Environment Modeling (CSEM) at the University of Michigan is a powerful tool for modeling space weather and space physics phenomena in the Earth-Sun system. The Block-Adaptive Tree Solarwind Roe-type Upwind Scheme (BATS-R-US), Ionospheric Electrodynamic, and Inner Magnetospheric models within SWMF can be coupled to assess a number of quantities related to the dynamics of the earth's magnetosphere. The basic MHD model—referred in the work as the “Ideal MHD model”—in use is the coupling of BATS-R-US with IE, however IM models are being added to form a global MHD model. Currently, there are two different IM models for this purpose: the Rice Convection Model and the Comprehensive Ring Current Model. This paper assesses the differences between the three couplings and lays a foundation for future comparisons. Cross correlation values between coupling efficiency and cross polar cap potential and polar cap area are carefully considered in the comparison as are time variation plots of each of these values. Contour plots each hemisphere are made for each model and run time and are also considered in the analysis. These plots contain field-aligned currents and Hall and Pedersen conductivities over-plotted on the open-closed field line boundary and electric potential values.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2013


Jessica C. Lair

Mentor Department Affiliation

Physics and Astronomy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Physics and Astronomy