Survey of the Frequency Dependent Latitudinal Distribution of the Fast Magnetosonic Wave Mode from Van Allen Probes EMFISIS Wave Form Receiver Plasma Wave Analysis

We present a statistical survey of the latitudinal structure of the fast magnetosonic wave mode detected by the Van Allen Probes spanning the time interval of 9/21/2012 to 8/1/2014. We show that statistically the latitudinal occurrence of the wave frequency (f) normalized by the local proton cyclotron frequency (fcP) has a distinct funnel shaped appearance in latitude about the magnetic equator similar to that found in case studies. By comparing the observed E/B ratios with the model E/B ratio, using the observed plasma density and background magnetic field magnitude as input to the model E/B ratio, we show that this mode is consistent with the extraordinary (whistler) mode at wave normal angles (θk) near 90\textdegree. Performing polarization analysis on synthetic waveforms composed from a superposition of extra-ordinary mode plane waves with θk randomly chosen between 87 and 90\textdegree, we show that the uncertainty in the derived wave normal is substantially broadened, with a tail extending down to θk of 60\textdegree, suggesting that another approach is necessary to estimate the true distribution of θk. We find that the histograms of the synthetically derived ellipticities and θk are consistent with the observations of ellipticities and θk derived using polarization analysis. We make estimates of the median equatorial θk by comparing observed and model ray tracing frequency dependent probability occurrence with latitude, and give preliminary frequency dependent estimates of the equatorial θk distribution around noon and 4 RE, with the median of ~4 to 7\textdegree from 90\textdegree at f /fcP = 2 and dropping to ~0.5\textdegree from 90\textdegree at f /fcP = 30. The occurrence of waves in this mode peaks around noon near the equator at all radial distances, and we find that the overall intensity of these waves increases with AE*, similar to findings of other studies.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
n/a - n/a
Date Published