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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 is required to build the IRI2016 code.



  • Python >= 3.6
  • Fortran compiler--just about any modern Fortran compiler will do. Here's how to get Gfortran:
    • Linux: apt install gfortran
    • Mac: brew install gcc
    • Windows

and then install latest release:

pip install iri2016

if you want the latest development version:

git clone

cd iri2016

python3 develop --user

This Python wrapper of IRI2016 uses our build-on-run technique. The first time you use IRI2016, you will see messages from the Meson build system and your C compiler.


if error

ImportError: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

try installing Atlas math library used by Numpy

apt install libatlas-base-dev


  • Altitude Profile: plot density and temperatures vs altitude

    python 2003-11-21T12 -11.95 -76.77


  • Latitude profile: plot densities and height at the peak of F2, F2, and E regions vs geographic latitude

    python 2004-11-21T17 -76.77


  • Time profile: plot densities and height at the peak of F2, F2, and E regions vs UTC

    python 2014-11-21 2014-11-22 1 -11.95 -76.77




  • 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. From within Matlab / Octave, verify everything is working by from the iri2016/tests directory:


Matlab IRI2016 plot

Data files

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


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