FAST observations of VLF waves in the auroral zone: Evidence of very low plasma densities

R. J. Strangeway, L. Kepko, R. C. Elphic, C. W. Carlson, R. E. Ergun, J. P. McFadden, W. J. Peria, G. T. Delory, C. C. Chaston, M. Temerin, C. A. Cattell, E. Möbius, L. M. Kistler, D. M. Klumpar, W. K. Peterson, E. G. Shelley, R. F. Pfaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The Fast Auroral SnapshoT (FAST) explorer frequently observes the auroral density cavity, which is the source region for Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR). An important factor in the generation of AKR is the relative abundance of hot and cold electrons within the cavity, since hot electrons introduce relativistic modifications to the wave dispersion. VLF wave-form data acquired by FAST within the auroral density cavity show clear signatures of whistler-mode waves propagating on the resonance cone. This allows us to obtain the electron plasma frequency, and the cavity often has densities < 1 cm-3. Moreover, the hot electrons can be the dominant electron species, enabling AKR to be generated below the cold electron gyro-frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2065-2068
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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