Intensities and spatiotemporal variability of equatorial noise emissions observed by the Cluster spacecraft

Equatorial noise (EN) emissions are electromagnetic waves observed in the equatorial region of the inner magnetosphere at frequencies between the proton cyclotron frequency and the lower hybrid frequency. We present the analysis of 2229 EN events identified in the Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuations (STAFF) experiment data of the Cluster spacecraft during the years 2001\textendash2010. EN emissions are distinguished using the polarization analysis, and their intensity is determined based on the evaluation of the Poynting flux rather than on the evaluation of only the electric/magnetic field intensity. The intensity of EN events is analyzed as a function of the frequency, the position of the spacecraft inside/outside the plasmasphere, magnetic local time, and the geomagnetic activity. The emissions have higher frequencies and are more intense in the plasma trough than in the plasmasphere. EN events observed in the plasma trough are most intense close to the local noon, while EN events observed in the plasmasphere are nearly independent on magnetic local time (MLT). The intensity of EN events is enhanced during disturbed periods, both inside the plasmasphere and in the plasma trough. Observations of the same events by several Cluster spacecraft allow us to estimate their spatiotemporal variability. EN emissions observed in the plasmasphere do not change on the analyzed spatial scales (ΔMLT<0.2h, Δr<0.2 RE), but they change significantly on time scales of about an hour. The same appears to be the case also for EN events observed in the plasma trough, although the plasma trough dependencies are less clear.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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Date Published