Upward flowing field-aligned ion beams over auroral arcs have been observed with the 3-dimensional ion mass spectrograph TEAMS on FAST. We have performed a statistical study on a sample of 77 ion beams from the auroral campaign in early 1997. All observed beams contain substantial amounts of H+, He+ and O+. A clear ordering of the total energies according to mass is found, with H+ having the lowest and O+ the highest energy. The composition varies significantly from beam to beam, with O+/H+ ratios ranging from = 0.1 to 10. No variation of the energy ratio between species is observed as a function of relative abundance. These results are discussed in the light of earlier observations of higher energies for O+ in statistical studies of beams during solar minimum and attempts to explain this behavior in terms of beam instabilities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Geophysical Research Letters|
|State||Published - Jun 15 1998|