SUPERDARN CROSS POLAR CAP POTENTIAL AND PARAMETERS OF THE NEAR-EARTH SPACE
Mori, Daniel T.
The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) of HF coherent radars routinely report the so-called cross polar cap potential (CPCP), a voltage applied by the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) onto the high-latitude ionosphere. The CPCP ultimately drives the global-scale plasma circulation and thus reflects the influence of the Sun on the near-Earth electrodynamic environment. In this Thesis, SuperDARN measurements of the CPCP collected over the year 2000 are investigated with a goal to statistically assess its relationship with various parameters of the solar wind and IMF and to compare found tendencies with expectations of several key theories/models predicting the CPCP. It is shown that SuperDARN measurements show smaller CPCPs when compared with theories/empirical models and show a smaller dependence on various parameters. Some reported tendencies, such as IMF Bz dependence, were found to be consistent with measurements by other instruments, as reported in the literature. In an attempt to clarify the reasons for discrepancies, SuperDARN CPCPs were compared with velocity measurements, acting as a proxy for the ionospheric electric field, from the Resolute Bay ionosonde, which was in operation within the central polar cap and was monitoring the flows contributing significantly to the CPCP. The expected linear relationship between SuperDARN CPCP and ionosonde velocities was confirmed. As a side issue, the Resolute Bay ionosonde velocities were compared with the velocities measured by the SuperDARN radars at Rankin Inlet and Inuvik over the area monitored by the ionosonde. Reasonable agreement was found between the instruments, which implies that ionosondes and SuperDARN are compatible.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorKoustov, Alexandre V.
CommitteeBourassa, Adam; Cheviakov, Alexei F.
Copyright DateDecember 2011