Berlin 2005 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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EP: Extraterrestrische Physik

EP 1: Magnetosph
äre und Ionosph

EP 1.5: Vortrag

Freitag, 4. März 2005, 11:00–11:15, TU BH349

ESTIMATION OF FIELD-ALIGNED CURRENTS WITH A MULTI-SATELLITE MISSION (SWARM) — •Patricia Ritter and Hermann Lühr — GFZ Potsdam, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam

The multi-satellite mission Swarm is conceived to investigate the dynamics of the Earth’s magnetic field and its interaction with the Earth system in unprecedented detail. The instrumentation on board will provide high precision vector data of the electric and magnetic fields. With the planned constellation of satellites at different heights, one at 530 km and two at initially 450 km, the mission is particularly well suited to study the complex current systems of the polar ionosphere. The lower pair shall fly side-by-side separated by only  100 km in E/W direction. This will allow for the first time to determine ionospheric field-aligned currents unambiguously by directly employing the curl-B relation.

As part of an ESA-funded science study auroral current systems were generated by a global MHD code of GGCM for different degrees of activity. The new technique is applied to this set of consistent magnetic field and current data. By using realistic satellite trajectories and instrument performances we recovered the field-aligned current distributions from the magnetic field deflections. The agreement between input model and recovered field-aligned currents is satisfying and much improved compared to the single-satellite estimates.

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