Investigation of the radiation properties of magnetospheric ELF waves induced by modulated ionospheric heating

Research paper by Feng Wang, Binbin Ni, Zhengyu Zhao, Shufan Zhao, Guangxin Zhao, Min Wang

Indexed on: 23 Mar '17Published on: 14 Feb '17Published in: Advances in Space Research


Electromagnetic extremely low frequency (ELF) waves play an important role in modulating the Earth’s radiation belt electron dynamics. High-frequency (HF) modulated heating of the ionosphere acts as a viable means to generate artificial ELF waves. The artificial ELF waves can reside in two different plasma regions in geo-space by propagating in the ionosphere and penetrating into the magnetosphere. As a consequence, the entire trajectory of ELF wave propagation should be considered to carefully analyze the wave radiation properties resulting from modulated ionospheric heating. We adopt a model of full wave solution to evaluate the Poynting vector of the ELF radiation field in the ionosphere, which can reflect the propagation characteristics of the radiated ELF waves along the background magnetic field and provide the initial condition of waves for ray tracing in the magnetosphere. The results indicate that the induced ELF wave energy forms a collimated beam and the center of the ELF radiation shifts obviously with respect to the ambient magnetic field with the radiation power inversely proportional to the wave frequency. The intensity of ELF wave radiation also shows a weak correlation with the size of the radiation source or its geographical location. Furthermore, the combination of ELF propagation in the ionosphere and magnetosphere is proposed on basis of the characteristics of the ELF radiation field from the upper ionospheric boundary and ray tracing simulations are implemented to reasonably calculate magnetospheric ray paths of ELF waves induced by modulated ionospheric heating.

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