Roles of hot electrons in generating upper-hybrid waves in the earth\textquoterights radiation belt
Electrostatic fluctuations near upper-hybrid frequency, which are sometimes accompanied by multiple-harmonic electron cyclotron frequency bands above and below the upper-hybrid frequency, are common occurrences in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belt, as revealed through the twin Van Allen Probe spacecrafts. It is customary to use the upper-hybrid emissions for estimating the background electron density, which in turn can be used to determine the plasmapause locations, but the role of hot electrons in generating such fluctuations has not been discussed in detail. The present paper carries out detailed analyses of data from the Waves instrument, which is part of the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science suite onboard the Van Allen Probes. Combined with the theoretical calculation, it is shown that the peak intensity associated with the upper-hybrid fluctuations might be predominantly determined by tenuous but hot electrons and that denser cold background electrons do not seem to contribute much to the peak intensity. This finding shows that upper-hybrid fluctuations detected during quiet time are not only useful for the determination of the background cold electron density but also contain information on the ambient hot electrons population as well.
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Physics of Plasmas
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