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Electrostatic Solitary Waves in Current Layers: from Cluster Observations During a Super-substorm to Beam Experiments at the Lapd : Volume 16, Issue 3 (25/06/2009)

By Pickett, J. S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003977623
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 12
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Electrostatic Solitary Waves in Current Layers: from Cluster Observations During a Super-substorm to Beam Experiments at the Lapd : Volume 16, Issue 3 (25/06/2009)  
Author: Pickett, J. S.
Volume: Vol. 16, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Nonlinear, Processes
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Santolík, O., Gurnett, D. A., Verkhoglyadova, O. P., Grimald, S., Grison, B., Cornilleau-Wehrlin, N.,...Lakhina, G. S. (2009). Electrostatic Solitary Waves in Current Layers: from Cluster Observations During a Super-substorm to Beam Experiments at the Lapd : Volume 16, Issue 3 (25/06/2009). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. Electrostatic Solitary Waves (ESWs) have been observed by several spacecraft in the current layers of Earth's magnetosphere since 1982. ESWs are manifested as isolated pulses (one wave period) in the high time resolution waveform data obtained on these spacecraft. They are thus nonlinear structures generated out of nonlinear instabilities and processes. We report the first observations of ESWs associated with the onset of a super-substorm that occurred on 24 August 2005 while the Cluster spacecraft were located in the magnetotail at around 18–19 RE and moving northward from the plasma sheet to the lobes. These ESWs were detected in the waveform data of the WBD plasma wave receiver on three of the Cluster spacecraft. The majority of the ESWs were detected about 5 min after the super-substorm onset during which time 1) the PEACE electron instrument detected significant field-aligned electron fluxes from a few 100 eV to 3.5 keV, 2) the EDI instrument detected bursts of field-aligned electron currents, 3) the FGM instrument detected substantial magnetic fluctuations and the presence of Alfvén waves, 4) the STAFF experiment detected broadband electric and magnetic waves, ion cyclotron waves and whistler mode waves, and 5) CIS detected nearly comparable densities of H+ and O+ ions and a large tailward H+ velocity. We compare the characteristics of the ESWs observed during this event to those created in the laboratory at the University of California-Los Angeles Plasma Device (LAPD) with an electron beam. We find that the time durations of both space and LAPD ESWs are only slightly larger than the respective local electron plasma periods, indicating that electron, and not ion, dynamics are responsible for generation of the ESWs. We have discussed possible mechanisms for generating the ESWs in space, including the beam and kinetic Buneman type instabilities and the acoustic instabilities. Future studies will examine these mechanisms in more detail using the space measurements as inputs to models, and better relate the ESW space measurements to the laboratory through PIC code models.

Electrostatic solitary waves in current layers: from Cluster observations during a super-substorm to beam experiments at the LAPD

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