Low-altitude observations of recurrent short-lived keV ion microinjections inside the diffuse auroral zone
Sauvaud, J.‐A.; Delcourt, D.; Parrot, M.; Payan, D.; Raita, T.; Penou, E. (2018-03-30)
Sauvaud, J.-A., Delcourt, D., Parrot, M., Payan, D., Raita, T., & Penou, E. (2018). Low-altitude observations of recurrent short-lived keV ion microinjections inside the diffuse auroral zone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 123, 2054–2063. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA025075
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The AMBRE experiment onboard the ocean topography mapper JASON‐3 aims at measuring the spacecraft potential as well as auroral particle precipitation using two top‐hat analyzers for electrons and ions in the 20 eV–28 keV energy range. The JASON‐3 spacecraft has a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 1,336 km with an inclination of 66°, at times probing the equatorward part of the auroral oval in a nearly tangential manner upon leaving the outer radiation belt. In this region of space, during periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity with small or moderate storms, AMBRE detected recurrent “microinjections” of ions with energies in the 200 eV–28 keV range and which exhibit clear time‐of‐flight dispersion. Ray tracing using single trajectory computations suggests that these ions are launched from a source located in the 8,000–12,000 km altitudinal range and subsequently propagate downward toward the ionosphere. Such observations of quasiperiodic dispersed downflowing ions are new, and we argue that these structures could be produced by ion‐wave interactions at midaltitudes.
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