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No. 1 Characteristics of field-aligned currents derived from the Swarm constellation Hermann Lühr, Jaeheung Park, Jan Rauberg, Ingo Michaelis, Guram Kervalishvili.

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Presentation on theme: "No. 1 Characteristics of field-aligned currents derived from the Swarm constellation Hermann Lühr, Jaeheung Park, Jan Rauberg, Ingo Michaelis, Guram Kervalishvili."— Presentation transcript:

1 No. 1 Characteristics of field-aligned currents derived from the Swarm constellation Hermann Lühr, Jaeheung Park, Jan Rauberg, Ingo Michaelis, Guram Kervalishvili and Claudia Stolle GFZ, German Research Centre for Geosciences Swarm Data Quality Workshop Potsdam, 2 – 5 Dec. 2014

2 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 2 Introduction to field-aligned currents noon (Iijima and Potemra, 1976) Field-aligned currents are an important element in space plasma physics since they can carry energy and momentum lossless over large distances. They are strongest at auroral latitudes and form a distinct local time pattern

3 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 3 FAC estimates from single satellite Current estimates from magnetic field measurements are commonly based on Ampère's law. For the vertical component one can write From satellite data we only obtain along-track field variations. The equation has to be simplified. where v x is the velocity component in flight direction ΔB y the perpendicular field variations and Δ t the time step. Assumptions: (1) The FACs is stationary for the time of passage. (2) FACs are organised in sheets, oriented perpendicular to the flight direction.

4 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 4 Example of single satellite FAC estimate Large-scale FACs (>150km) show the typical morning side pattern. Small-scale FACs (~10km) have much larger amplitudes but vary significantly in time. They are expected to be carried by kinetic Alfvén waves. Swarm-A and –C are sampled at 7s time differences. The shift in latitude of Swarm-C indicates an equatorward motion of the FAC structure.

5 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 5 Temporal variation of small-sale FACs SW-A SW-C auroral oval South Pole We consider observations at the same location (orbital cross-over) but at different times. Small and large-scale FACs exhibit different behaviour. Small-scale FACs (<10km) vary on time scales of the order of 10s. Large-scale FACs (>150km) are stable for more than 60s.

6 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 6 FAC longitudinal correlation length SW-A SW-C auroral oval SW-B Measurements at the same magnetic latitude but at different longitudes are considered. For large-scale FACs we find good correlations up to ~10° in longitude separation for most LT sectors. An exception is the dayside, cusp, a region with smaller correlation lengths.

7 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 7 Résumé for FACs from single satellites From the Swarm constellation observations we can conclude for the auroral oval:  Assumption (1, stationarity) is violated for small-scale FACs; their amplitude is varying rapidly with time. For large-scale FACs the assumption is fulfilled.  Assumption (2, sheet geometry) is fulfilled for large-scale FACs at most local times. Smaller longitudinal correlations length are found predominantly around noon, cusp region. The orientation of the current sheet can be determined by minimum variance analysis and accounted for in the analysis.  Conclusion: FAC estimates from single satellites magnetic field recordings are reliable when the data are filtered at a cutoff period of order 20s and the sheet orientation is considered.  Small-scale FACs cannot be determined reliably, but their contribution to the energy budget seems to be important for ionosphere-ionosphere coupling. (For more information see our poster at the AGU meeting)

8 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 8 Dual-satellite FACs Much more robust FAC estimates can be derived when magnetic field measurements from several satellites are considered. In case of Swarm we take data from the lower pair, Swarm-A/C. The reading of the leading Swarm-C are shifted in time (5-10s) such that a real side-by-side sampling is achieved. We use the Level 1b data from which all non-ionospheric magnetic contributions are removed. Data have been corrected for the VFM- ASM disturbance (see Michaelis et al., Wednesday) and are low- pass filtered at a 20s cutoff period. The applied algorithm for current estimate is Ampère’s integral.

9 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 9 Field-aligned currents from the Swarm constellation Using Ampère‘s integral in discrete form dℓ 1 dℓ 2 dℓ 4 dℓ 3 SwA SwC Along-track variations are derived from two subsequent measurements dt=5sec  dl 1,3 =38km Cross-track separation is 1.4° in longitude.

10 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 10 Field-aligned currents from the Swarm constellation  Dual-FACs from Swarm-A/C are calculated for every second.  At latitudes above 86° no dual-FACs are calculated since the cross-track separation is less than 3 km.  Comparisons between single and dual-FACs are shown for different local times.

11 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 11 IMAGE magnetometer 71.2° 67.0° 65.8° 64.3° 63.1° 60.5° Swarm

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16 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 16 Summary  The early Swarm mission phase was useful to test underlying assumptions for FAC determination from single satellite. More details are given by a poster for AGU meeting.  Reliable FAC estimates can be achieved from the Swarm-A/C pair after the final orbit constellation has been achieved at middle of April and after correction for ASM/VFM differences.  Single and dual-satellite FAC estimates generally match quite well. Differences show up in the polar cap.  In the southern hemisphere the auroral oval overlaps with the geographic pole. In that region dual-satellite FAC estimates are not reliable.

17 Swarm Data Quality Workshop, Potsdam 2 – 5 Dec No. 17


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