Initial Results from the ISEE-1 and -2 Plasma Wave Investigation

  • D. A. Gurnett
  • R. R. Anderson
  • F. L. Scarf
  • R. W. Fredricks
  • E. J. Smith


In this paper we present an initial survey of results from the plasma wave experiments on the ISEE-1 and -2 spacecraft which are in nearly identical orbits passing through the Earth’s magnetosphere at radial distances out to about 22.5R e . Essentially every crossing of the Earth’s bow shock can be associated with an intense burst of electrostatic and whistler-mode turbulence at the shock, with substantial wave intensities in both the upstream and downstream regions. Usually the electric and magnetic field spectrum at the shock are quite similar for both spacecraft, although small differences in the detailed structure are sometimes apparent upstream and downstream of the shock, probably due to changes in the motion of the shock or propagation effects. Upstream of the shock emissions are often observed at both the fundamental, \(f_p^ - \), and second harmonic, \(2f_p^ - \), of the electron plasma frequency. In the magnetosphere high resolution spectrograms of the electric field show an extremely complex distribution of plasma and radio emissions, with numerous resonance and cutoff effects. Electron density profiles can be obtained from emissions near the local electron plasma frequency. Comparisons of high resolution spectrograms of whistler-mode emissions such as chorus detected by the two spacecraft usually show a good overall similarity but marked differences in detailed structure on time scales less than one minute. Other types of locally generated waves, such as the \((n + \frac{1}{2})f_g^ - \) electron cyclotron waves, show a better correspondence between the two spacecraft. High resolution spectrograms of kilometric radio emissions are also presented which show an extremely complex frequency-time structure with many closely spaced narrow-band emissions.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Holland, and Boston, U.S.A. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Gurnett
    • 1
  • R. R. Anderson
    • 1
  • F. L. Scarf
    • 2
  • R. W. Fredricks
    • 2
  • E. J. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.TRW Defense and Space Systems GroupRedondo BeachUSA
  3. 3.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA

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