Radio imaging of the magnetosphere



Radio sounding can be used to produce “images” of magnetospheric electron density distributions that could revolutionize research into the magnetosphere and its plasma content, especially when combined with other techniques. Based on more than a half-century heritage of ionospheric sounding combined with digital techniques, the magnetospheric radio sounder is yielding measurements that were once impossible to obtain.

A magnetospheric radio sounder can provide unprecedented global magnetospheric information by providing quantitative electron density profiles simultaneously in different directions. From a sequence of these, a contour plot of the density structure in the orbital plane can be constructed, with some out of plane information as well.