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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The current status of in situ investigations in the equatorial electrojet is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on: (1) the relation of the vertical polarization field to the electrojet current and the electron number density; (2) the puzzling square shapes of the large amplitude kilometer-scale horizontal electric field structures; (3) the intense vertical, meter-scale waves observed on the topside of the electrojet associated with horizontal laminar-like primary two-stream waves; (4) measurements of upgoing and downgoing secondary two-stream and gradient drift wave packets driven by delta E x B drifts; (5) the nonlinear meter-scale 'turbulence' with small mean phase velocities observed by radars at altitudes outside the regions of high Cowling conductivity, and wave-particle heating by the plasma instabilities.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics (ISSN 0021-9169); 53; 709-728
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: Thermal ion energy distribution functions and local electric and magnetic fields were directly measured for the first time in the ionospheric E region. Measured ion distribution functions were fitted to shifted Maxwellian distributions, and their resulting ion drift velocities were compared with E x B/B-squared velocities from the double-probe electric field observations. The results show that the ion drift direction rotates with respect to the local electric field direction and that the ratio of the magnitudes of the ion velocity to the E x B/B-squared velocity decreases with decreasing altitudes. Using these observations, the quiet time ion-neutral collison frequencies and neutral wind velocities were estimated and found to be consistent with theoretical estimates. However, significant discrepancies between observations and theory are found in the disturbed E region near auroral particle precipitation regions. These data indicate that the auroral atmosphere is significantly perturbed due to Joule as well as particle heating effects.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 96; 9761-977
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The paper reports both dc and ac measurements of equatorial electric fields from the San Marco D satellite. These measurements were performed with double floating probe sensors and have yielded a surprising number of new phenomena and effects in regions of equatorial spread-F. Among the phenomena observed are unexpected large-amplitude Rayleigh-Taylor updrafting velocities in equatorial bubbles.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: Advances in Space Research (ISSN 0273-1177); 13; 1, Ja
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: On December 14,2002, a NASA Black Brant X sounding rocket was launched equatorward from Ny Alesund, Spitzbergen (79 N) into the dayside cusp and subsequently cut across the open/closed field line boundary, reaching an apogee of771 km. The launch occurred during Bz negative conditions with strong By negative that was changing during the flight. SuperDarn (CUTLASS) radar and subsequent model patterns reveal a strong westward/poleward convection, indicating that the rocket traversed a rotational reversal in the afternoon merging cell. The payload returned DC electric and magnetic fields, plasma waves, energetic particle, suprathermal electron and ion, and thermal plasma data. We provide an overview of the main observations and focus on the DC electric field results, comparing the measured E x B plasma drifts in detail with the CUTLASS radar observations of plasma drifts gathered simultaneously in the same volume. The in situ DC electric fields reveal steady poleward flows within the cusp with strong shears at the interface of the closed/open field lines and within the boundary layer. We use the observations to discuss ionospheric signatures of the open/closed character of the cusp/low latitude boundary layer as a function of the IMF. The electric field and plasma density data also reveal the presence of very strong plasma irregularities with a large range of scales (10 m to 10 km) that exist within the open field line cusp region yet disappear when the payload was equatorward of the cusp on closed field lines. These intense low frequency wave observations are consistent with strong scintillations observed on the ground at Ny Alesund during the flight. We present detailed wave characteristics and discuss them in terms of Alfven waves and static irregularities that pervade the cusp region at all altitudes.
    Keywords: Geophysics
    Type: Dayside Cusp and Polar Cap Meeting; Apr 21, 2009 - Apr 25, 2009; Oslo; Norway
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: The phenomenon called flux transfer events (FTEs) is widely accepted as the manifestation of time-dependent reconnection. In this paper, we present observational evidence of a flux transfer event observed simultaneously at low-latitude by Polar and at high-latitude by Cluster. This event occurs on March 21, 2002, when both Cluster and Polar are located near local noon but with a large latitudinal separation. During the event, Cluster is moving outbound from the polar cusp to the magnetosheath, and Polar is in the magnetosheath near the equatorial magnetopause. The observations show that a flux transfer event occurs between the equator and the northern cusp. Polar and Cluster observe the FTE s two open flux tubes: Polar encounters the southward moving flux tube near the equator; and Cluster the northward moving flux tube at high latitude. The low latitude FTE appears to be a flux rope with helical magnetic field lines as it has a strong core field and the magnetic field component in the boundary normal direction exhibits a strong bi-polar variation. Unlike the low-latitude FTE, the high-latitude FTE observed by Cluster does not exhibit the characteristic bi-polar perturbation in the magnetic field. But the plasma data clearly reveal its open flux tube configuration. It shows that the magnetic field lines have straightened inside the FTE and become more aligned to the neighboring flux tubes as it moves to the cusp. Enhanced electrostatic fluctuations have been observed within the FTE core, both at low- and high-latitudes. This event provides a unique opportunity to understand high-latitude FTE signatures and the nature of time-varying reconnection.
    Keywords: Geophysics
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: The EQUIS-2 sounding rocket and radar campaign, launched from Kwajalein Atoll in 2004, included a mission to study low-latitude irregularities and electrodynamics, led by NASA GSFC. This mission included two instrumented rockets launched into the nighttime E region (apogee near 120 km), which included comprehensive electrodynamics and neutral density instrumentation. These rockets carried the first of a new generation of impedance probes, that utilize a wide-band drive signal to simultaneously measure the impedance of an antenna in a plasma as a function of frequency from 7 kEIz to 4 MHz. at a rapid cadence. This technique promises to permit true plasma spectroscopy, and resulted in the identification of multiple plasma resonances and accurate measurements of the plasma density, even in the low density nighttime E region. We present analyses of the technique and resulting spectra, and show how these data may be combined with fixed-bias Langmuir Probe data to infer the temperature structure of the E region as well as providing accurate absolute calibrations for the very high time resolution fixed-bias probe data. The data is shown to agree well with data from ionosonde, the ALTAIR radar, and the Peruvian beacon experiment.
    Keywords: Space Sciences (General)
    Type: 12th International Symposium on Equatorial Aeronomy (ISEA); May 18, 2008 - May 24, 2008; Crete; Greece
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-19
    Description: The recent solar minimum between cycles 23 and 24 was unusually extended and deep, resulting in an ionosphere that is significantly different from that expected based on previous solar minima. The ion density and composition estimates from the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite are used to evaluate the performance of the IRI-2007 model between 400 and 850 kIn altitude in equatorial regions. The current model is shown to typically overestimate the expected topside density of 0+ and underestimate the density of H+ during 2008 and 2009. The overestimation of ion density by IRI-2007 is found to vary with local time and longitude.
    Keywords: Geophysics
    Type: GSFC.ABS.5739.2011 , International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) Workshop 2011; Hermanus; South Africa
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-18
    Description: The phenomenon called flux transfer events (FTEs) is widely accepted as the manifestation of time-dependent reconnection. In this paper, we present an observational evidence of a flux transfer event observed simultaneously at low-latitude by Polar and high-latitude by Cluster. This event occurred on March 21, 2002, when both Cluster and Polar were located near the local noon but with large latitudinal distance. Cluster was moving outbound from polar cusp to the magnetosheath, and Polar was in the magnetosheath near the equatorial magnetopause. The observations show that a flux transfer event was formed between the equator and the northern cusp. Polar and Cluster observed the FTE's two open flux tubes: Polar saw the southward moving flux tube near the equator; and Cluster the , northward moving flux tube at high latitude. Unlike low-latitude FTEs, the high-latitude FTE did not exhibit the characteristic bi-polar BN signature. But the plasma data clearly showed its open flux tube configuration. Enhanced electric field fluctuations were observed within the FTE core, both at low- and high-attitudes. This event provides us a unique opportunity to understand high-latitude FTE signatures and the nature of time-varying reconnection.
    Keywords: Solar Physics
    Type: 2005 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting; Dec 03, 2005 - Dec 10, 2005; San Francisco, CA; United States
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: Measurements of DC and AC electric Fields at low altitudes (less than 150 km) in the Earth's ionosphere address a wide array of important scientific questions including Joule Heating, the closure of field aligned currents, and the deviation of E x B electron velocities from ion velocity vectors influenced by collisions. Double probes represent a well-proven technique for gathering high quality DC and AC electric field measurements for which the design of the boom system is of critical importance for the success of the experiment. In general, ionospheric DC electric field instruments that achieve accuracies of 0.1 mV/m or better, place sensors at large distances from the spacecraft body in order to extend well beyond the spacecraft wake and sheath and to achieve the large signal-to-noise ratios for DC and long wavelength measurements. Additional sets of sensors inboard of the primary, outermost sensors provide useful additional information, both for diagnostics of the plasma contact potentials, which particularly enhance the DC electric field measurements on non-spinning spacecraft, and for wavelength and phase velocity measurements that use the spaced receiver or "Interferometer" technique. Accurate attitude knowledge enables V x B contributions to be subtracted from the measured potentials, and permits the measured components to be rotated into meaningful geophysical reference frames. This presentation discusses the expected performance of electric field double probe experiments and their boom mechanisms on both spinning and non-spinning satellite platforms with very low perigees. Careful selection of probe surface materials, such as titanium nitride, for the low perigee environment, as well as thermal considerations are also discussed.
    Keywords: Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
    Type: 1999 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting; Jan 01, 1999; San Francisco, CA; United States
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: The existence of precipitating keV ions in the Earth's cusp originating at the magnetosheath provide unique means to test our understanding of particle acceleration and parallel electric fields in the lower altitude acceleration region. On numerous occasions, the FAST (The Fast Auroral Snapshot) spacecraft has encountered the Earth's cusp regions near its apogee of 4175 km which are characterized by their signatures of dispersed keV ion injections. The FAST instruments also reveal a complex microphysics inherent to many, but not all, of the cusp regions encountered by the spacecraft, that include upgoing ion beams and conics, inverted-V electrons, upgoing electron beams, and spikey DC-coupled electric fields and plasma waves. Detailed inspection of the FAST data often show clear modulation of the precipitating magnetosheath ions that indicate that they are affected by local electric potentials. For example, the magnetosheath ion precipitation is sometimes abruptly shut off precisely in regions where downgoing localized inverted-V electrons are observed. Such observations support the existence of a localized process, such as parallel electric fields, above the spacecraft which accelerate the electrons downward and consequently impede the precipitating ion precipitation. Other acceleration events in the cusp are sometimes organized with an apparent cellular structure that suggests Alfven waves or other large-scale phenomena are controlling the localized potentials. We examine several cusp encounters by the FAST satellite where the modulation of energetic session on acceleration particle populations reveals evidence of localized acceleration, most likely by parallel electric fields.
    Keywords: Geophysics
    Type: 1999 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting; Jan 01, 1999; San Francisco, CA; United States
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