• chorus;
  • modulation;
  • plasma density structure;
  • plasma wave instability;
  • plasmaspheric hiss;
  • ray tracing

Over the past 3 decades the hypothesis that chorus waves—a form of highintensity plasma wave often found in the outer magnetosphere—evolve into plasmaspheric hiss in the plasmasphere has grown in prominence. Plasmaspheric hiss is a form of low-frequency radio wave that is often observed in the regions within the plasmasphere that have high plasma densities. Plasmaspheric hiss is important in that the hiss waves interact with highenergy electrons in Earth's geomagnetic field, carving out a swath between the inner and outer Van Allen radiation belts to form the “slot region,” a relative safe zone with minimized radiation hazard. Though modeled simulations of plasmaspheric hiss formation from chorus waves have been able to reproduce the major properties of observed hiss, they often underestimate hiss intensity by 10–20 decibels. Drawing on observations from the planet's dayside made using NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellite, Chen et al. examine two mechanisms that could make up for this shortfall.