The spatial scales of whistler-mode waves, determined by their generation process, propagation, and damping, are important for assessing the scaling and efficiency of wave-particle interactions affecting the dynamics of the radiation belts. We use multi-point wave measurements by two Van Allen Probes in 2013–2019 covering all MLTs at L = 2–6 to investigate the spatial extent of active regions of chorus and hiss waves, their wave amplitude distribution in the source/generation region, and the scales of chorus wave packets, employing a time-domain correlation technique to the spacecraft approaches closer than 1,000 km, which happened every 70 days in 2012–2018 and every 35 days in 2018–2019. The correlation of chorus wave power dynamics using is found to remain significant up to inter-spacecraft separations of 400–750 km transverse to the background magnetic field direction, consistent with previous estimates of the chorus wave packet extent. Our results further suggest that the chorus source region can be slightly asymmetrical, more elongated in either the azimuthal or radial direction, which could also explain the aforementioned two different scales. An analysis of average chorus and hiss wave amplitudes at separate locations similarly shows the reveals different radial and azimuthal extents of the corresponding wave active regions, complementing previous results based on THEMIS spacecraft statistics mainly at larger L > 6. Both the chorus source region scale and the chorus active region size appear smaller inside the outer radiation belt (at L < 6) than at higher L-shells.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work was supported by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grants 80NNSC19K0848, 80NSSC20K0218, NNX16AF85GS004, 80NSSC19K0264, and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant number 1914670.
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- chorus generation
- chorus waves
- radiation belts