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Plasma wave source location using Cluster as a spherical wave telescope

Plasma wave source location using Cluster as a spherical wave telescope

Publication date: 29 September 2006

Authors: Constantinescu, O.D. et al.

Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 111
Issue: A9
Year: 2006

Copyright: American Geophysical Union

CiteID: A09221 The use of sensor arrays in space opens up the possibility to investigate the source location of plasma waves. In order to do so, we generalize the wave telescope technique to use spherical waves instead of plane waves. The new tool determines the center of the wavefronts locally measured by the sensor array. This virtual source can be related with the position of the source generating the detected waves provided the wave propagation mode and medium properties are known. Moreover, the motion of the source region can be derived, as well as its basic geometrical characteristics. In this work we give the theoretical background for the new tool and examples of location analysis based on synthetic data. An example based on Cluster magnetic field data in the dayside magnetosheath reveals a virtual source region elongated in the magnetic field direction, moving with the plasma flow in the vicinity of the spacecraft configuration.

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