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|Title:||A statistical study of magnetospheric electron density using the Cluster spacecraft|
|Authors:||Sandhu, Jasmine K.|
Yeoman, T. K.
Fear, R. C.
|Publisher:||American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley|
|Citation:||Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2016, 121 (11), pp. 11,042–11,062|
|Abstract:||Observations from the WHISPER (Waves of High frequency and Sounder for Probing of Electron density by Relaxation) instrument on board Cluster, for the interval spanning 2001–2012, are utilized to determine an empirical model describing the total electron density along closed geomagnetic field lines. The model, representing field lines in the region of 4.5≤L < 9.5, includes dependences on L and magnetic local time. Data verification tests ensured that the WHISPER data set provided unbiased measurements for low-density regions, including comparisons with Plasma Electron and Current Experiment and Electric Field and Waves observations. The model was determined by modeling variations in the electron density along the field lines, which is observed to follow a power law distribution along the geomagnetic field at high latitudes, with power law index values ranging from approximately 0.0 to 1.2. However, a localized peak in electron density close to the magnetic equator is observed, which is described using a Gaussian peak function, with the electron density peak ranging as high as 10 cm−3 above the background power law dependence. The resulting model illustrates some key features of the electron density spatial distribution. The role of the number density distribution, represented by the empirical electron density model, in determining the total plasma mass density is also explored. By combining the empirical electron density model with an empirical average ion mass model, the total plasma mass density distribution is inferred, which includes contributions of both the number density and ion composition of the plasma in the region.|
|Rights:||©2016. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.|
|Description:||OMNI data were obtained from the NASA/GSFC OMNIWeb interface (http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov). The Dst index data were obtained from the World Data Center for Geomagnetism, Kyoto (http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dstae/index.html). The data underlying this study are freely available from the above archives. The analysis code used in this study is stored in the University of Leicester computer systems and is available on request.|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy|
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