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AbstractSignals from very-low-frequency transmitters on the ground are known to induce energetic electron precipitation from the Earth’s radiation belts. The effectiveness of this mechanism depends on the propagation characteristics of those signals in the magnetosphere, and in particular whether the signals are ducted or nonducted along channels of enhanced plasma density, analogous to optical fibres. Here we perform a statistical analysis of in-situ waveform data collected by the Van Allen Probes satellites that shows that nonducted propagation dominates over ducted propagation in both the occurrence and intensity of the waves. Ray tracing confirms that the latitudinal distribution of wavevectors corresponds to nonducted as opposed to ducted propagation. Our results show the dominant mode of propagation needed to quantify transmitter-induced precipitation and improve the forecast of electron radiation belt dynamics for the safe operation of satellites.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 07/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL093987
Russian Alpha radio navigation system (RSDN-20) emits F1 = 11.9 kHz signals into the magnetosphere which propagate as whistler mode waves. Observed by waveform continuous burst mode from Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) on Van Allen Probes, a case is presented and featured with ducted propagation, multiple reflections, and triggered emissions. Both risers and fallers appear in the triggered emissions. We use a ray tracing method to demonstrate ducted propagation, which has a similar wave normal angle near 150° as the observation. The arrival time of reflected signals is estimated using propagation analysis and compared with the observed signal arrival time. To test the nonlinear cyclotron resonance theory, the interaction region scale and the order of chirping rate in triggered emission are estimated. The estimated interaction region scale of MLAT = −3° is smaller than the observed MLAT = −6°. The discrepancy may be caused by the parallel propagation assumption and background field model.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 11/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090165
Signals of powerful ground transmitters at various places have been detected by satellites in near-Earth space. The study on propagation mode, ducted or nonducted, has attracted much attentions for several decades. Based on the statistical results from Van Allen Probes (data from Oct. 2012 to Mar. 2017) and DEMETER satellite (from Jan. 2006 to Dec. 2007), we present the ground transmitter signals distributed clearly in ionosphere and magnetosphere. The observed propagation route in the meridian plane in the magnetosphere for each of various transmitters from the combination of DEMETER and Van Allen Probes data in night time is revealed for the first time. We use realistic ray tracing simulation and compare simulation results against Van Allen Probes and DEMETER observation. By comparison we demonstrate that the observed propagation route, with partial deviation from the field lines corresponding to ground stations, provides direct and clear statistical evidence that the nonducted propagation mode plays a main role, although with partial contribution from ducted propagation. The propagation characteristics of VLF transmitter signals in the magnetosphere are critical for quantitatively assessing their contribution to energetic electron loss in radiation belts.
Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Published on: 06/2018
YEAR: 2018   DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025637