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First direct optical observations of plasma flows using afterglow of O+ in discrete aurora
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5596-346X
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2422-5426
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton.
Show others and affiliations
2009 (English)In: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, ISSN 1364-6826, Vol. 71, no 2, 228-238 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Imaging of active structured aurora in the forbidden O+ ion line at 732.0 nm provides a possibility of direct observation of plasma drifts in the topside ionosphere. The metastable O+ P-2 state has a radiative lifetime of 5 s, so the oxygen ions can be detected after the precipitation creating them has ceased. The decay time of the O+ emission is studied and modelled with a time-dependent electron transport and ion chemistry model. Four examples are given of O+ afterglow observed with the multi-spectral imager, auroral structure and kinetics (ASK), which was located near Tromso, Norway, in 2006. Estimates are given of drift velocities resulting from the analysis of the afterglow motions. Bulk plasma velocities of 340 and 720 m/s directed eastwards were found for two afterglowing arc filaments, corresponding to southward electric fields of 18 and 40 mV/m, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 71, no 2, 228-238 p.
Keyword [en]
Ionosphere, Plasma drift, Aurora, Oxygen ion, Electric fields, transition-probabilities, radar observations, rate coefficients, forbidden lines, electric-fields, ion drift, arcs, thermosphere, emission, airglow
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-18236DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2008.11.015ISI: 000264084600006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-59249108653OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-18236DiVA: diva2:336282
Note
QC 20100525 Tidigare titel: First direct optical observations of plasma flows in the metastable 0+ ion in discrete auroraAvailable from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2010-12-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multi-spectral analysis of fine scale aurora
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-spectral analysis of fine scale aurora
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Aurora Borealis is the visible manifestation of the complex plasma interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere. Ground based and in situ measurements demonstrate a prevalence of dynamic fine structure within auroral displays, with spatial scales down to tens of metres and time variations occurring on a fraction of a second.The fine-scale morphology is related to structuring of auroral currents and electric fields and detailed spatial, spectral and temporal observations of the aurora are crucial in understanding the electrodynamic processes taking place in the ionosphere and in its coupling to the magnetosphere.

In this thesis, the low-light optical instrument ASK (Auroral Structure and Kinetics) is used to image small-scale structures in the aurora at very high spatial and temporal resolution. ASK is a multi-spectral instrument, imaging the aurora in three selected emissions simultaneously. This provides information on the energy of the precipitating electrons. The SIF (Spectrographic Imaging Facility) instrument has been used in conjunction with ASK, to give a more complete picture of the spectral characteristics of the aurora, and to determine the degree of contaminating emissions present in the same spectral interval as the emission lines observed by ASK.

Data from ASK and SIF are used to study the relation between the morphology and dynamics of small-scale structures in the aurora and the energy of the precipitating electrons. By comparing electron density profiles provided by EISCAT (European Incoherent SCATter) radar measurements with modeling results, information on the characteristic energy and the energy flux of the precipitating electrons can be obtained. One of the ASK channels is imaging a metastable O+ emission, which has a lifetime of about 5 s. By tracing the afterglow in this channel optically a direct measure of the E x B drift is obtained from which the local ionospheric electric field can be calculated. ASK data has also been used to analyse the properties of a distorted auroral arc, in which auroral structuring was found to take place simultaneously at different spatial scales. The smallest features, 'ruffs', are undulations found to develop on the edge of an auroral curl, fold or shear. Detailed optical studies of black aurora, including both the type which is associated with plasma shear motions and no or weak shear motions were conducted from ASK data, to investigate the spectral properties and fine scale morphology of the black structures and to shed light on the processes behind this phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xx, 90 p.
Series
Trita-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2010:040
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24907 (URN)978-91-7415-749-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-22, H1, Teknikringen 33, KTH, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101001Available from: 2010-10-01 Created: 2010-09-30 Last updated: 2010-10-01Bibliographically approved
2. Fine-scale morphology and spectral characteristics of active aurora
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fine-scale morphology and spectral characteristics of active aurora
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Ground-based and in-situ observations of the aurora demonstrate an extreme richness in fine structure, with spatial scales down to tens of metres and time variations occurring on a fraction of a second. To further our understanding of the aurora, it is esssential to understand the mechanisms responsible for the small-scale structuring, since this is an intrinsic property of the auroral plasma. Still many questions about dynamics and structuring of aurora on small scales remain unanswered. In this thesis the low-light optical instrument ASK (Auroral Structure and Kinetics) is used to image small-scale structures in the aurora at very high spatial and temporal resolution. ASK is a multi-spectral instrument, imaging the aurora in three selected emission lines simultaneously. This provides information on the energy of the precipitating electrons. The SIF (Spectrographic Imaging Facility) instrument has been used in conjunction with ASK, to give a more complete picture of the spectral characteristics of the aurora, and to determine the contamination of the emission lines by other emissions. Data from ASK and SIF is used to study the relation between the morphology and dynamics of small-scale structures in the aurora and the energy of the precipitating electrons. By comparing electron density profiles provided by EISCAT (European Incoherent SCATter) measurements with modeling results, information on characteristic energy and energy flux of the precipitating electrons can be obtained. One of the ASK channels is imaging a metastable O+ emission, which has a lifetime of 5 s. By tracing the afterglow in this channel optically a direct measure of the E × B drift and thus of the local ionospheric electric fields is provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. xii, 52 p.
Series
Trita-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2008:027
Keyword
Aurora
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4745 (URN)
Presentation
2008-05-23, Seminarierummet, Alfvenlaboratoriet, Teknikringen 31, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101109Available from: 2008-05-13 Created: 2008-05-13 Last updated: 2010-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Dahlgren, HannaIvchenko, Nickolay V.Marklund, Göran T.

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