The detection of energetic electrons with the Cassini Langmuir probe at Saturn
2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, A10202- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Cassini Langmuir probe, part of the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument, has provided a wealth of information about the cold and dense plasma in the Saturnian system. The analysis of the ion side current (current for negative potentials) measured by the probe from 2005 to 2008 reveals also a strong sensitivity to energetic electrons (250-450 eV). These electrons impact the surface of the probe, and generate a detectable current of secondary electrons. A broad secondary electrons current region is inferred from the observations in the dipole L Shell range of similar to 6-10, with a peak full width at half maximum (FWHM) at L = 6.4-9.4 (near the Dione and Rhea magnetic dipole L Shell values). This magnetospheric flux tube region, which displays a large day/night asymmetry, is related to the similar structure in the energetic electron fluxes as the one measured by the onboard Electron Spectrometer (ELS) of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS). It corresponds spatially to both the outer electron radiation belt observed by the Magnetosphere Imaging Instrument (MIMI) at high energies and to the low-energy peak which has been observed since the Voyager era. Finally, a case study suggests that the mapping of the current measured by the Langmuir probe for negative potentials can allow to identify the plasmapause-like boundary recently identified at Saturn, and thus potentially identify the separation between the closed and open magnetic field lines regions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 117, A10202- p.
inner magnetosphere, plasma, ionosphere, spectrometer, dynamics, density, radio, titan
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184637DOI: 10.1029/2011JA017298ISI: 000309608400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-184637DiVA: diva2:567505