Kinetic effects in the acceleration of auroral electrons in small scale Alfven waves: A FAST case study

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Abstract

[1] In this report we examine the importance of ion and electron kinetic effects in the acceleration of electrons in small scale Alfven waves above the auroral oval. We implement a 1-D two-fluid MHD code approximating the effects of electron inertia and ion and electron temperatures to evaluate their role in accounting for the observed energies of field-aligned electron bursts found in coincidence with these waves above the auroral oval. FAST spacecraft data for a case study event characterized by large auroral ion energies and a hot plasma sheet is employed to define the plasma through which the wave propagates. It is found that strong kinetic effects at altitudes below 5 Earth radii may significantly reduce the amount of electron acceleration possible in the wave in terms of both energy and flux.

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