Small Scale Structure of Magnetospheric Electron Density Through On-Line Tracking of Plasma Resonances
The plasma resonance phenomena observed at f pe , nf ce , and f qn by the GEOS-1 S-301 relaxation sounder are identified through a pattern recognition software process implemented in a mini-computer which receives on-line the compressed data. First, this processing system distributes in real time f pe and f ce measurements to the ground media. Second, it drives and controls automatically the S-301 on-board experiment by sending appropriate telecommands: the tracking of resonances is performed by shortening the frequency sweeps to a narrow range centered on the resonance location. Examples of such tracking sequences are presented, exhibiting sampling rates of the electron density measurements from once every 22 s (slowest rate) to once every 86 ms (highest rate available). The results give evidence of the existence of very small scale structures in the magnetospheric density, having characteristic sizes of the order of a few 102 m or/and a few 10-1 s. The relative amplitude of these density fluctuations is typically 1%. Because of satellite spinning, fixed frequency sounding sequences allow to measure in a few seconds the directivity features of the plasma resonance signals. Examples of directional patterns in the plane perpendicular to the geomagnetic field are presented: the electrostatic nature of the waves received at f pe , nf ce , and f qn being consistent with these patterns, the corresponding k vector orientations become available. The Bernstein modes properties are used to interpret the nf ce and f qn results.
KeywordsRadar Coherence Reso
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