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Drew Compston (view profile)


NRL MSIS-E-90 atmosphere model.

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Computes the MSIS-E-90, which is a model for Earth's atmosphere from the ground into the exosphere. I would call it more of a hack than a true MSIS implementation as it works by querying the online interface at using the curl command on an operating system terminal. Because of this, it requires an internet connection and is pretty slow, but if high speed is not an important issue for you, this can be an easy way to get MSIS data into MATLAB.

An example script for how to use the function is given as msistest.m. This is also the script that generated the attached screenshot. It took a little less than 3 minutes to run on my computer.

As stated, the query is made using the command curl in an operating system terminal. This program is built-in to Unix (and Mac I believe) but not Windows. Windows users can download cURL from You'll have to download the appropriate executable for your operating system, and I recommend putting it in the same directory as msis.m.


International Reference Ionosphere (Iri) Model inspired this file.

Required Products MATLAB
MATLAB release MATLAB 7.5 (R2007b)
Other requirements curl.exe (can be downloaded at if not included in your operating system).
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