Preliminary Statistical Survey of Plasmaspheric Ion Properties from Observations by De 1/RIMS

  1. T. E. Moore,
  2. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  3. T. W. Moorehead and
  4. W. B. Hanson
  1. R. H. Comfort1,
  2. I. T. Newberry1 and
  3. C. R. Chappell2

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM044p0107

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma

How to Cite

Comfort, R. H., Newberry, I. T. and Chappell, C. R. (1988) Preliminary Statistical Survey of Plasmaspheric Ion Properties from Observations by De 1/RIMS, in Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma (eds T. E. Moore, J. H. Waite, T. W. Moorehead and W. B. Hanson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM044p0107

Author Information

  1. 1

    Physics Department, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama 35899

  2. 2

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama 35812

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1988

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900704

Online ISBN: 9781118664414



  • Space plasmas—Mathematical models;
  • Magnetosphere—Mathematical models;
  • Ionosphere—Mathematical models


Theoretical modeling of the plasmasphere must be guided by the observed behavior of the plasma properties as they vary in space and time in response to changing conditions. Here we present mean temperatures and densities of plasmaspheric H+ ions obtained from observations by the retarding ion mass spectrometer on Dynamics Explorer 1. These averages represent more than 100 transits of the plasmasphere in two local time regions: morning side (7–11 hours) and evening side (18–22 hours). They are presented in terms of profiles of temperature or density versus L shell, in which each data point represents an average over a bin of width ΔL = 0.2. In order to see variations of interest, the data have been subdivided in two ways. First, the local time regions noted above have been kept distinct, and second, data above and below (in altitude) the L shell of closest approach are kept separate. Composition ratios are also presented for He+, O+, He++, and O++. Lest modelers take these mean profiles too seriously, several representative, but differing, profiles are presented to demonstrate the range of variations that are commonly observed.