Field-Aligned Electron Density Distribution of the Inner Magnetosphere Inferred From Coordinated Observations of Arase and Van Allen Probes

Yuki Obana, Yukinaga Miyashita, Naomi Maruyama, Atsuki Shinbori, Masahito Nosé, Masafumi Shoji, Atsushi Kumamoto, Fuminori Tsuchiya, Shoya Matsuda, Ayako Matsuoka, Yoshiya Kasahara, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Iku Shinohara, William S. Kurth, Charles W. Smith, Robert J. MacDowall

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The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) and the Arase satellites have different inclinations and sometimes they fly both near the equator and off the equator on the same magnetic field line simultaneously. Such conjunction events give us opportunities to compare the electron density at different latitudes. In this study, we analyzed the plasma waves observed by Arase and RBSP during the three conjunction events during and after the September 7, 2017 storm. The electron number density at the satellite positions was estimated from frequencies of the Upper Hybrid Resonance emissions obtained by the High Frequency Analyzer of the Plasma Wave Experiment onboard the Arase and the Waves instrument onboard the RBSP, respectively. During the three conjunction events, the satellites passed through the plume, inner trough (the narrow region with low electron density between the main body of the plasmasphere and the plume), plasmatrough with variable electron density, and partially refilled plasmasphere. The power-law index m for the inner trough and plume was inferred to be 4–7 and ∼0, respectively. This is interpreted to mean that the trough was close to collisionless and the plume was relatively near diffusive equilibrium. In the plasmatrough with the varying density, both the high-density and low-density regions had m ∼ 0. The low-density portion of this region may have a different origin from the inner trough, because of the different m indices. For the partially refilled plasmasphere in the storm recovery phase, the power-law index m showed negative values, meaning that the density in the equatorial plane was higher than at higher latitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JA029073
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct


  • Arase satellite
  • geomagnetic storm
  • inner magnetosphere
  • plasmasphere
  • simultaneous observation
  • Van Allen Probes satellite


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