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Found 13 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 13


Detection of Hertz Frequency Multiharmonic Field Line Resonances at Low-L (L = 1.1–1.5) During Van Allen Probe Perigee Passes

We present new and previously unreported in situ observations of Hertz frequency multiharmonic mode field line resonances detected by the Electric Field and Waves instrument on-board the NASA Van Allen probes during low-L perigee passes. Spectral analysis of the spin-plane electric field data reveals the waves in numerous perigee passes, in sequential passes of probes A and B, and with harmonic frequency structures from ∼0.5 to 3.5 Hz which vary with L-shell, altitude, and from day-to-day. Comparing the observations to wave models using plasma mass density values along the field line given by empirical power laws and from the International Reference Ionosphere model, we conclude that the waves are standing Alfvén field line resonances and that only odd-mode harmonics are excited. The model eigenfrequencies are strongly controlled by the density close to the apex of the field line, suggesting a new diagnostic for equatorial ionospheric density dynamics.

Lena, F.; Ozeke, L.; Wygant, J.; Tian, S.; Breneman, A.; Mann, I.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Field line resonance; Ionosphere; magneto-seismology; Magnetosphere; plasmasphere; standing Alfvén waves; Van Allen Probes


Model-observation comparison for the geographic variability of the plasma electric drift in the Earth\textquoterights innermost magnetosphere

Plasmaspheric rotation is known to lag behind Earth rotation. The causes for this corotation lag are not yet fully understood. We have used more than two years of Van Allen Probe observations to compare the electric drift measured below L~2 with the predictions of a general model. In the first step, a rigid corotation of the ionosphere with the solid Earth was assumed in the model. The results of the model-observation comparison are twofold: (1) radially, the model explains the average observed geographic variability of the electric drift; (2) azimuthally, the model fails to explain the full amplitude of the observed corotation lag. In the second step, ionospheric corotation was modulated in the model by thermospheric winds, as given by the latest version of the Horizontal Wind Model (HWM14). Accounting for the thermospheric corotation lag at ionospheric E-region altitudes results in significantly better agreement between the model and the observations.

Lejosne, ène; Maus, Stefan; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074862

corotation; electric field; Ionosphere; plasmasphere; thermosphere; Van Allen Probes; wind

Energetic electron precipitation and auroral morphology at the substorm recovery phase

It is well known that auroral patterns at the substorm recovery phase are characterized by diffuse or patch structures with intensity pulsation. According to satellite measurements and simulation studies, the precipitating electrons associated with these aurorae can reach or exceed energies of a few hundreds of keV through resonant wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere. However, because of difficulty of simultaneous measurements, the dependency of energetic electron precipitation (EEP) on auroral morphological changes in the mesoscale has not been investigated to date. In order to study this dependency, we have analyzed data from the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar, the Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array (KAIRA) riometer, collocated cameras, ground-based magnetometers, the Van Allen Probe satellites, Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), and the Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt (Dynamic) Deposition-VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortium (AARDDVARK). Here we undertake a detailed examination of two case studies. The selected two events suggest that the highest energy of EEP on those days occurred with auroral patch formation from postmidnight to dawn, coinciding with the substorm onset at local midnight. Measurements of the EISCAT radar showed ionization as low as 65 km altitude, corresponding to EEP with energies of about 500 keV.

Oyama, S.; Kero, A.; Rodger, C.; Clilverd, M.; Miyoshi, Y.; Partamies, N.; Turunen, E.; Raita, T.; Verronen, P.; Saito, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023484

auroral patch; EEP; Ionosphere; plasma wave; recovery phase; substorm; Van Allen Probes


Van Allen Probe measurements of the electric drift E \texttimes B/B2 at Arecibo\textquoterights L = 1.4 field line coordinate

We have used electric and magnetic measurements by Van Allen Probe B from 2013 to 2014 to examine the equatorial electric drift E \texttimes B/B2 at one field line coordinate set to Arecibo\textquoterights incoherent scatter radar location (L = 1.43). We report on departures from the traditional picture of corotational motion with the Earth in two ways: (1) the rotational angular speed is found to be 10\% smaller than the rotational angular speed of the Earth, in agreement with previous works on plasmaspheric notches, and (2) the equatorial electric drift displays a dependence in magnetic local time, with a pattern consistent with the mapping of the Arecibo ionosphere dynamo electric fields along equipotential magnetic field lines. The electric fields due to the ionosphere dynamo are therefore expected to play a significant role when discussing, for instance, the structure and dynamics of the plasmasphere or the transport of trapped particles in the inner belt.

Lejosne, Solène; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069875

corotation; electric field; Inner radiation belt; Ionosphere; plasmasphere; Van Allen Probes

The Source of O + in the Storm-time Ring Current

A stretched and compressed geomagnetic field occurred during the main phase of a geomagnetic storm on 1 June 2013. During the storm the Van Allen Probes spacecraft made measurements of the plasma sheet boundary layer, and observed large fluxes of O+ ions streaming up the field line from the nightside auroral region. Prior to the storm main phase there was an increase in the hot (>1 keV) and more isotropic O+ions in the plasma sheet. In the spacecraft inbound pass through the ring current region during the storm main phase, the H+ and O+ ions were significantly enhanced. We show that this enhanced inner magnetosphere ring current population is due to the inward adiabatic convection of the plasma sheet ion population. The energy range of the O+ ion plasma sheet that impacts the ring current most is found to be from ~5 to 60 keV. This is in the energy range of the hot population that increased prior to the start of the storm main phase, and the ion fluxes in this energy range only increase slightly during the extended outflow time interval. Thus, the auroral outflow does not have a significant impact on the ring current during the main phase. The auroral outflow is transported to the inner magnetosphere, but does not reach high enough energies to affect the energy density. We conclude that the more energetic O+ that entered the plasma sheet prior to the main phase and that dominates the ring current is likely from the cusp.

Kistler, L.M.; Mouikis, C.; Spence, H.E.; Menz, A.M.; Skoug, R.M.; Funsten, H.O.; Larsen, B.A.; Mitchell, D.G.; Gkioulidou, M.; Wygant, J.R.; Lanzerotti, L.J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA022204

Geomagnetic storm; Ionosphere; oxygen; plasma sheet; Plasma Sources; ring current; Van Allen Probes

Driving ionospheric outflows and magnetospheric O + energy density with Alfv\ en waves

We show how dispersive Alfv\ en waves observed in the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms can extract O+ ions from the topside ionosphere and accelerate these ions to energies exceeding 50 keV in the equatorial plane. This occurs through wave trapping, a variant of \textquotedblleftshock\textquotedblright surfing, and stochastic ion acceleration. These processes in combination with the mirror force drive field-aligned beams of outflowing ionospheric ions into the equatorial plane that evolve to provide energetic O+ distributions trapped near the equator. These waves also accelerate preexisting/injected ion populations on the same field lines. We show that the action of dispersive Alfv\ en waves over several minutes may drive order of magnitude increases in O+ ion pressure to make substantial contributions to magnetospheric ion energy density. These wave accelerated ions will enhance the ring current and play a role in the storm time evolution of the magnetosphere.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Reeves, G.; Skoug, R.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 05/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069008

Alfven waves; ion acceleration; Ionosphere; ionospheric outflow; ring current

The \textquotedblleftzebra stripes\textquotedblright: An effect of F-region zonal plasma drifts on the longitudinal distribution of radiation belt particles

We examine a characteristic effect, namely, the ubiquitous appearance of structured peaks and valleys called zebra stripes in the spectrograms of energetic electrons and ions trapped in the inner belt below L ~ 3. We propose an explanation of this phenomenon as a purely kinematic consequence of particle drift velocity modulation caused by F region zonal plasma drifts in the ionosphere. In other words, we amend the traditional assumption that the electric field associated with ionospheric plasma drives trapped particle distributions into rigid corotation with the Earth. An equation based on a simple first-order model is set up to determine quantitatively the appearance of zebra stripes as a function of magnetic time. Our numerical predictions are in agreement with measurements by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment detector onboard Van Allen Probes, namely: (1) the central energy of any peak identified in the spectrum on the dayside is the central energy of a spectral valley on the night side, and vice versa; (2) there is also an approximate peak-to-valley inversion when comparing the spectrum of trapped electrons with that of trapped ions in the same place; and (3) the actual energy separation between two consecutive peaks (or number of stripes) in the spectrogram of a trapped population is an indicator of the time spent by the particles drifting under quiet conditions.

Lejosne, Solène; Roederer, Juan;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021925

electric field; Ionosphere; Inner radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; zebra stripes


Evolution of lower hybrid turbulence in the ionosphere

Three-dimensional evolution of the lower hybrid turbulence driven by a spatially localized ion ring beam perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field in space plasmas is analyzed. It is shown that the quasi-linear saturation model breaks down when the nonlinear rate of scattering by thermal electron is larger than linear damping rates, which can occur even for low wave amplitudes. The evolution is found to be essentially a three-dimensional phenomenon, which cannot be accurately explained by two-dimensional simulations. An important feature missed in previous studies of this phenom- enon is the nonlinear conversion of electrostatic lower hybrid waves into electromagnetic whistler and magnetosonic waves and the consequent energy loss due to radiation from the source region. This can result in unique low-amplitude saturation with extended saturation time. It is shown that when the nonlinear effects are considered the net energy that can be permanently extracted from the ring beam is larger. The results are applied to anticipate the outcome of a planned experiment that will seed lower hybrid turbulence in the ionosphere and monitor its evolution.

Ganguli, G.; Crabtree, C.; Mithaiwala, M.; Rudakov, L.; Scales, W.;

Published by: Physics of Plasmas      Published on: 11/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1063/1.4936281


Postmidnight depletion of the high-energy tail of the quiet plasmasphere

The Van Allen Probes Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) instrument measures the high-energy tail of the thermal plasmasphere allowing study of topside ionosphere and inner magnetosphere coupling. We statistically analyze a 22 month period of HOPE data, looking at quiet times with a Kp index of less than 3. We investigate the high-energy range of the plasmasphere, which consists of ions at energies between 1 and 10 eV and contains approximately 5\% of total plasmaspheric density. Both the fluxes and partial plasma densities over this energy range show H+ is depleted the most in the postmidnight sector (1\textendash4 magnetic local time), followed by O+ and then He+. The relative depletion of each species across the postmidnight sector is not ordered by mass, which reveals ionospheric influence. We compare our results with keV energy electron data from HOPE and the Van Allen Probes Electric Fields and Waves instrument spacecraft potential to rule out spacecraft charging. Our conclusion is that the postmidnight ion disappearance is due to diurnal ionospheric temperature variation and charge exchange processes.

Sarno-Smith, Lois; Liemohn, Michael; Katus, Roxanne; Skoug, Ruth; Larsen, Brian; Thomsen, Michelle; Wygant, John; Moldwin, Mark;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020682

ion composition; Ionosphere; plasmasphere; postmidnight; quiet time magnetosphere; Van Allen Probes


Near real-time ionospheric monitoring over Europe at the Royal Observatory of Belgium using GNSS data

Various scientific applications and services increasingly demand real-time information on the effects of space weather on Earth\textquoterights atmosphere. In this frame, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) takes advantage of the dense EUREF Permanent GNSS Network (EPN) to monitor the ionosphere over Europe from the measured delays in the GNSS signals, and provides publicly several derived products. The main ROB products consist of ionospheric vertical Total Electron Content (TEC) maps over Europe and their variability estimated in near real-time every 15 min on 0.5\textdegree \texttimes 0.5\textdegree grids using GPS observations. The maps are available online with a latency of ~3 min in IONEX format at and as interactive web pages at This paper presents the method used in the ROB-IONO software to generate the maps. The ROB-TEC maps show a good agreement with widely used post-processed products such as IGS and ESA with mean differences of 1.3 \textpm 0.9 and 0.4 \textpm 1.6 TECu respectively for the period 2012 to mid-2013. In addition, we tested the reliability of the ROB-IONO software to detect abnormal ionospheric activity during the Halloween 2003 ionospheric storm. For this period, the mean differences with IGS and ESA maps are 0.9 \textpm 2.2 and 0.6 \textpm 6.8 TECu respectively with maximum differences (>38 TECu) occurring during the major phase of the storm. These differences are due to the lower resolution in time and space of both IGS and ESA maps compared to the ROB-TEC maps. A description of two recent events, one on March 17, 2013 and one on February 27, 2014 also highlights the capability of the method adopted in the ROB-IONO software to detect in near real-time abnormal ionospheric behaviour over Europe. In that frame, ROB maintains a data base publicly available with identified ionospheric events since 2012.

Bergeot, Nicolas; Chevalier, Jean-Marie; Bruyninx, Carine; Pottiaux, Eric; Aerts, Wim; Baire, Quentin; Legrand, Juliette; Defraigne, Pascale; Huang, Wei;

Published by: Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate      Published on: 09/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2014028


An examination of the source of decameter-scale irregularities in the geomagnetically disturbed mid-latitude ionosphere

We present first results from a study of the plasma instability mechanism responsible for the small-scale (\~10 m) ionospheric density irregularities commonly observed by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radars in the vicinity of Sub Auroral Polarization Streams (SAPS) during periods of geomagnetic disturbance. A focus is placed on the mid-latitude region of the ionosphere over North America where recent expansion of the SuperDARN network allows for extensive direct comparisons with total electron content (TEC) measurements from a dense network of ground-based GPS receivers. The TEC observations indicate that high-speed SAPS channels and the associated small-scale irregularities are typically located within the mid-latitude ionospheric trough. The Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR), operating in campaign mode in support of the NASA Van Allen Probes mission, provided measurements of F region ion/electron density, velocity, and temperature suitable for identifying potential mechanisms of plasma instability during a SAPS event that extended over 12 hours of magnetic local time (MLT) on 2 February 2013. Previous work has indicated that the density gradients associated with the poleward wall of the mid-latitude trough can produce small-scale irregularities due to the gradient drift instability during quiet periods by cascade from larger-scale structures. In this study we demonstrate that the gradient drift instability is a viable source for the direct generation of the small-scale irregularities observed by SuperDARN radars in the mid-latitude ionosphere during geomagnetically disturbed conditions.

Thomas, Evan; Yan, Jingye; Zhang, Jiaojiao; Baker, Joseph; Ruohoniemi, Michael; Hoskawa, Keisuke; Erickson, Philip; Coster, Anthea; Foster, John;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929853

Ionosphere; Plasmas; SUPERDARN; Van Allen Probes

Initial observations of plasma waves in the sub-auroral polarization stream with the Van Allen Probes

The Sub-Auroral Polarization Stream (SAPS) is a geospace boundary layer phenomenon associated with the interaction of the warm plasma of the magnetospheric ring current with the cold ions and electrons of the outer plasmasphere [1]. Driven by ring current enhancements during magnetospheric disturbances, SAPS location, intensity, and characteristics are greatly influenced by the underlying ionosphere. Strong M-I coupling by means of field-aligned currents creates a high-speed (>1000 m/s) westward plasma flow channel in the ionosphere at pre-midnight/post-noon local times which is readily observable by incoherent scatter [2] and HF radars and in plasma drift observations by low-altitude spacecraft (e.g. DMSP). The fast ionospheric flows generate E-region irregularities providing for additional diagnostics using coherent backscatter techniques [3]. SAPS plays a significant role in the redistribution of cold plasma through the geospace system at both ionospheric and magnetospheric heights. Where the SAPS flow channel overlaps the mid-latitude ionosphere and outer plasmasphere, streams of cold plasma are carried westward and sunward as plumes of storm enhanced density (SED) in the ionosphere and as plasmasphere erosion plumes at high altitude. Ground-based maps of GPS total electron content (TEC) serve to visualize the spatial extent and evolution of the SAPS and SED. Mapping these features to magnetospheric altitudes along magnetic field lines permits direct intercomparison with in situ spacecraft observations. The recently launched Van Allen Probes twin satellites (RBSP-A \& RBSP-B) are in near-equatorial orbits well suited for studies of the SAPS and related phenomena at the apex of field lines threading the plasmasphere boundary layer. Simultaneous near magnetic field aligned observations of SAPS at DMSP altitude (\~800 km) and by RBSP-A at \~20,000 km show close correspondence of SAPS location and characteristics between the ionosphere and- magnetosphere. In highly elliptical orbits with apogee near 5.5 Re, the RBSP spacecraft often spend hours at a time skimming the outer plasmasphere within the SAPS region. A great variety of wave phenomena are observed. Here we describe long-duration large amplitude (+/- 5 mV/m) electric field oscillations with 3 min\textendash5 min period seen in the magnetospheric equatorial plane within the SAPS/erosion plume region.

Foster, John; Erickson, Philip;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929852

Ionosphere; Magnetosphere; Van Allen Probes

One year of on-orbit performance of the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE)

The Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment is a 3-unit (10cm \texttimes 10cm \texttimes 30cm) CubeSat funded by the National Science Foundation and constructed at the University of Colorado (CU). The CSSWE science instrument, the Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope integrated little experiment (REPTile), provides directional differential flux measurements of 0.5 to >3.3 MeV electrons and 9 to 40 MeV protons. Though a collaboration of 60+ multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate students working with CU professors and engineers at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), CSSWE was designed, built, tested, and delivered in 3 years. On September 13, 2012, CSSWE was inserted to a 477 \texttimes 780 km, 65\textdegree orbit as a secondary payload on an Atlas V through the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program. The first successful contact with CSSWE was made within a few hours of launch. CSSWE then completed a 20 day system commissioning phase which validated the performance of the communications, power, and attitude control systems. This was immediately followed by an accelerated 24 hour REPTile commissioning period in time for a geomagnetic storm. The high quality, low noise science data return from REPTile is complementary to the NASA Van Allen Probes mission, which launched two weeks prior to CSSWE. On September 13, 2013, CSSWE completed one year of on-orbit operations. In this talk we will discuss the issues encountered with designing and operating a cubesat in orbit. Data from the mission will be presented and discussed in the larger context of ionospheric and magnetospheric physics.

Palo, Scott; Gerhardt, David; Li, Xinlin; Blum, Lauren; Schiller, Quintin; Kohnert, Rick;

Published by:       Published on: 01/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/USNC-URSI-NRSM.2014.6928087

artificial satellites; atmospheric measuring apparatus; Ionosphere; Magnetic Storms; Magnetosphere; Van Allen Probes