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Furthering our understanding of electrostatic solitary waves through Cluster multispacecraft observations and theory

Furthering our understanding of electrostatic solitary waves through Cluster multispacecraft observations and theory

Publication date: 03 June 2007

Authors: Pickett, J.S. et al.

Journal: Advances in Space Research
Volume: article in press
Year: 2007

Copyright: COSPAR

Nonlinear isolated electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) are observed routinely at many of Earth's major boundaries by the Wideband Data (WBD) plasma wave receivers that are mounted on the four Cluster satellites. The current study discusses two aspects of ESWs: their characteristics in the magnetosheath, and their propagation in the magnetosheath and in the auroral acceleration (upward current) region. The characteristics (amplitude and time duration) of ESWs detected in the magnetosheath are presented for one case in which special mutual impedance tests were conducted allowing for the determination of the density and temperature of the hot and cold electrons. These electron parameters, together with those from the ion experiment, were used as inputs to an electron acoustic soliton model as a consideration for the generation of the observed ESWs. The results from this model showed that negative potential ESWs of a few Debye lengths (10-50 m) could be generated in this plasma. Other models of ESW generation are discussed, including beam instabilities and spontaneous generation out of turbulence. The results of two types of ESW propagation (in situ and remote sensing) studies are also presented. - Remainder of abstract truncated -

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