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Electrodynamic Coupling of the Auroral Ionosphere and Magnetosphere

Research project MO/35/016 (Research action MO)

Persons :

  • Dr.  ROTH Michel - Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2005-31/12/2006

Description :

This project aims to present a unified image of electrodynamic coupling between the high latitude ionospheric processes occurring on a small spatial scale (discrete auroral arcs and PJ/SAID events) and magnetospheric processes occurring on a larger spatial scale (collapse shear through magnetospheric boundary layers, substorms). The project objectives may be summarised as follows:

- What are the generators feeding electrical circuits involving currents aligned along the magnetic field lines (FAC: Field-Aligned Currents)?
- What can we learn from these current systems when they are connected to a load and the latter is identified with auroral arcs (Roth et al., 1993) or subauroral ion drift (De Keyser, 1999)?
- What are the physics-imposed relationships between the generators and their load?
- Do the processes associated with Alfven waves determine the auroral field lines such that quasi static potentials are aligned therewith?

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