Collaborative Research: Gem--Global Propagation Characteristics Of Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron Waves

Project: Research project

Project Details


The focus of project is to investigate the creation, propagation, and dissipation electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves (EMIC) in the near-Earth space environment. EMIC waves are created by the interaction of plasma with the Earth's magnetic field. These waves play an important role in both the energization and loss of particles in the Van Allen radiation belts. Since the radiation belts overlap the region where satellites operate understanding the factors that can change their intensity is an important aspect of predicting space weather impacts. This project will use a combination of observations and numerical modeling to address EMIC wave dynamics. Most previous modeling in this area has used ray-tracing methods. This project takes the novel approach of using a full wave model to simulate the wave dynamics. The project will support the efforts of young female scientist who is serving as the PI. It will also provide support to PhD graduate student. The investigators will also plan to provide opportunities for undergraduates to participate in the research through partnership with National Undergraduate Fellowship Program in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences program. More specifically this project addresses the following questions; (a) How do equatorially generated EMIC waves reach the ground?; (b) How is EMIC wave propagation affected by geomagnetic activity?; and (c) What are the relative contributions of magnetospheric/ionospheric parameters and wave normal angle to EMIC wave propagation from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere? To achieve this goal, the investigators plan to perform full-wave simulations employing recently developed 2D full-wave code with realistic plasma parameters. We will also analyze recent observations of these waves by Van Allen Probes, THEMIS and GOES satellites and compare them with observations from the ground magnetometer network.
Effective start/end date8/1/177/31/20


  • National Science Foundation


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