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Enhanced Escape of Spacecraft Photoelectrons Caused by Langmuir and Upper Hybrid Waves
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 123, no 9, p. 7534-7553Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Description
Abstract [en]

The spacecraft potential is often used to infer rapid changes in the thermal plasma density. The variations in spacecraft potential associated with large-amplitude Langmuir and upper hybrid waves are investigated with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. When large-amplitude Langmuir and upper hybrid waves are observed, the spacecraft potential increases. The changes in spacecraft potential are shown to be due to enhanced photoelectron escape from the spacecraft when the wave electric fields reach large amplitude. The fluctuations in spacecraft potential follow the envelope function of the Langmuir and upper hybrid waves. Comparison with the high-resolution electron moments shows that the changes in spacecraft potential associated with the waves are not due to density perturbations. Indeed, using the spacecraft potential as a density probe leads to unphysically large density fluctuations. In addition, the changes in spacecraft potential are shown to increase as density decreases: larger spacecraft potential changes are observed in the magnetosphere, than in the magnetosheath and solar wind. These results show that external electric fields can lead to unphysical results when the spacecraft potential is used as a density probe. The results suggest that fluctuations in the spacecraft potential alone cannot be used to determine whether nonlinear processes associated with Langmuir and upper hybrid waves, such as the ponderomotive force and three-wave decay, are occurring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION , 2018. Vol. 123, no 9, p. 7534-7553
Keywords [en]
Langmuir waves, photoelectron current, spacecraft potential, upper hybrid waves
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-238924DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025874ISI: 000448376600029Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053685005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-238924DiVA, id: diva2:1263054
Note

QC 20181114

Available from: 2018-11-14 Created: 2018-11-14 Last updated: 2019-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Lindqvist, Per-Arne

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