Early MITHRAS results: The electric field response to substorms


  • O. de la Beaujardière,

  • J. Holt,

  • E. Nielsen


The MITHRAS data base offers a unique opportunity to observe simultaneously the auroral-zone ion convection pattern with three radars, widely separated in longitude. We attempt to separate local-time versus universal-time effects in a study of the electric field signature associated with substorms. Preliminary results indicate that this signature is similar at a given local time, regardless of the longitude of the station. In the dawn and dusk sectors the electric field is intensified, whereas around noon and midnight the electric field appears to reverse during a substorm. The potential drop across the polar cap can be estimated from the potential across the auroral oval. The radar data agree well with the relationship found by Reiff and co-workers between the solar wind energy parameter ε and the cross-tail potential.