Browsing University of Alaska Fairbanks by Subject "Plasma astrophysics"
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Electrostatic ion cyclotron waves in barium injection experiments in spaceElectrostatic ion cyclotron waves are investigated in a charge-generated barium-shaped plasma directed parallel to the earth’s magnetic field. The barium plasma is generated as a result of a barium shape charge release in the upper F₂ region of the ionosphere undergoing photoionization, Using a differential velocity distribution given by Stenbaek-Nielsen et al., , this situation has been modeled based on the condition of collisionless plasma. The instabilities were studied for cases with and without an ambient oxygen ion background. It was concluded that fast ionization in excess of photoionization due to the excitation of electrons by electrostatic ion cyclotron waves was not feasible for the ejection directed along the earth’s magnetic field nor would there be any contribution to Alfven’s critical velocity mechanism if the injection was directed perpendicular to the magnetic field.
Modeling the generation and propagation of dispersive waves in the giant magnetospheres through mass loading and transport using hybrid simulationThe magnetodiscs of Jupiter and Saturn are characterized by turbulence in the magnetic field. Broadband spectra of precipitating electrons at Jupiter suggest that a process is underway whereby large scale perturbations undergo a turbulent cascade in the magnetodisc. The cascade couples large perturbations to dispersive scales (kinetic and inertial Alfvén waves). Plasma transport in the rapidly rotating giant magnetospheres is thought to involve a centrifugally-driven flux tube interchange instability, similar to the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability. Mass loading from satellites such as Io and Enceladus also cause dispersive wave formation in the magnetosphere, which is a source for broadband aurora. This dissertation presents a set of hybrid (kinetic ion/fluid electron) plasma simulations of the RT instability and the Io flux tube using conditions appropriate for the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Both the Io torus and the planetary magnetodisc act as resonant cavities for counter propagating waves, which creates turbulence. The transmission ratio of wave power from the Io torus is 53%, an improvement from previous models (20% transmission), which is important to the generation of the Io auroral footprint. The onset of the RT instability begins at the ion kinetic scale and cascades to larger wavelengths. Strong guide field reconnection is a mechanism for radial transport of plasma in the magnetodisc. Counter propagating waves within the RT instability is the origin of turbulence within the magnetodisc.