Relationships between Field-Aligned Currents, Electric Fields, and Particle Precipitation as Observed by Dynamics Explorer-2

  1. Thomas A. Potemra
  1. M. Sugiura1,
  2. T. Iyemori1,
  3. R. A. Hoffman1,
  4. N. C. Maynard1,
  5. J. L. Burch2 and
  6. J. D. Winningham2

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM028p0096

Magnetospheric Currents

Magnetospheric Currents

How to Cite

Sugiura, M., Iyemori, T., Hoffman, R. A., Maynard, N. C., Burch, J. L. and Winningham, J. D. (1984) Relationships between Field-Aligned Currents, Electric Fields, and Particle Precipitation as Observed by Dynamics Explorer-2, in Magnetospheric Currents (ed T. A. Potemra), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM028p0096

Author Information

  1. 1

    Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771

  2. 2

    Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas 78284

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900551

Online ISBN: 9781118664131

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Keywords:

  • Magnetospheric currents—Congresses;
  • Plasma instabilities—Congresses

Summary

The relationships between field-aligned currents, electric fields, and particle fluxes are determined using observations from the polar orbiting low-altitude satellite Dynamics Explorer-2. It is shown that the north-south electric field and the east-west magnetic field components are usually highly correlated in the field-aligned current regions. This proportionality observationally proves that the field-aligned current equals the divergence of the height-integrated ionospheric Pedersen current in the meridional plane to a high degree of approximation. As a general rule, in the evening sector the upward field-aligned currents flow in the boundary plasma sheet region and the downward currents flow in the central plasma sheet region. The current densities determined independently from the plasma and magnetic field measurements are compared. Although the current densities deduced from the two methods are in general agreement, the degree and extent of the agreement vary in individual cases.