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IRI2016 International Reference Ionosphere from Python

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IRI2016 ionosphere model from Python and Matlab


Python and Matlab interfaces to the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) 2016 model. A Fortran compiler and CMake or Meson is required to build the IRI2016 code.


Python >= 3.6 is required.

  1. Install IRI2016 command-line driver program
    pip install --upgrade setuptools
    git clone
    pip install -e iri2016[tests]
  2. (optional) run selftest to ensure install was completed:
    pytest iri2016
  3. try example script e.g.


Drive the simulation via a seamless command line interface, example: matlab/RunIRI2016.m


Any Fortran compiler will do. IRI2016 has been tested with compilers including:

  • Gfortran
  • Intel ifort
  • PGI pgfortran
  • Flang flang

If you don't already have a Fortran compiler, install Gfortran by:

  • Linux: apt install gfortran
  • Mac: brew install gcc
  • Windows


  • Height-profile: plot density and temperatures vs altitude image
  • Latitudinal profile: plot densities and height at the peak of F2, F2, and E regions vs geographic latitude image
  • GMT profile: plot densities and height at the peak of F2, F2, and E regions vs universal time image
  • Height vs GMT: plot Ne, Te, and Ti as a function of height and universal time image
  • Latitude vs Longitude: plot of foF2 a function of geographic latitude and longitude image

Matlab / GNU Octave

IRI2016 is readily accessible from Matlab and GNU Octave.

  1. From Matlab, verify everything is working by from the iri2016/ directory:
  2. Use iri2016.m function to access IRI2016 quantities. See RunIRI2016.m for simple example use / plots.

Matlab IRI2016 plot

Data files

iri2016/iri2016/data/index/{apf107,ig_rz}.dat are regularly updated. Currently we don't auto-update those.

Direct compilation

These commands are not normally needed unless you want to work with the Fortran code more directly.

Fortran compile

meson build

meson test -C build


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