A Census of Plasma Waves and Structures Associated With an Injection Front in the Inner Magnetosphere

David M. Malaspina, Aleksandr Ukhorskiy, Xiangning Chu, John Wygant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Now that observations have conclusively established that the inner magnetosphere is abundantly populated with kinetic electric field structures and nonlinear waves, attention has turned to quantifying the ability of these structures and waves to scatter and accelerate inner magnetospheric plasma populations. A necessary step in that quantification is determining the distribution of observed structure and wave properties (e.g., occurrence rates, amplitudes, and spatial scales). Kinetic structures and nonlinear waves have broadband signatures in frequency space, and consequently, high-resolution time domain electric and magnetic field data are required to uniquely identify such structures and waves as well as determine their properties. However, most high-resolution fields data are collected with a strong bias toward high-amplitude signals in a preselected frequency range, strongly biasing observations of structure and wave properties. In this study, an ∼45 min unbroken interval of 16,384 samples/s field burst data, encompassing an electron injection event, is examined. This data set enables an unbiased census of the kinetic structures and nonlinear waves driven by this electron injection, as well as determination of their “typical” properties. It is found that the properties determined using this unbiased burst data are considerably different than those inferred from amplitude-biased burst data, with significant implications for wave-particle interactions due to kinetic structures and nonlinear waves in the inner magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2566-2587
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume123
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • electron injection
  • inner magnetosphere
  • kinetic structures
  • plasma boundaries
  • plasma waves
  • radiation belts

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