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Ionospheric plasma density variations observed at Mars by MAVEN/LPW
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
Lab Atmospher & Space Phys, Boulder, CO USA..
Univ Calif Berkeley, Space Sci Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA..
Lab Atmospher & Space Phys, Boulder, CO USA..
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2015 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 42, no 21, 8862-8869 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

We report on initial observations made by the Langmuir Probe and Waves relaxation sounding experiment on board the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. These measurements yield the ionospheric thermal plasma density, and we use these data here for an initial survey of its variability. Studying orbit-to-orbit variations, we show that the relative variability of the ionospheric plasma density is lowest at low altitudes near the photochemical peak, steadily increases toward higher altitudes and sharply increases as the spacecraft crosses the terminator and moves into the nightside. Finally, despite the small volume of data currently available, we show that a clear signature of the influence of crustal magnetic fields on the thermal plasma density fluctuations is visible. Such results are consistent with previously reported remote measurements made at higher altitudes, but crucially, here we sample a new span of altitudes between similar to 130 and similar to 300 km using in situ techniques.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 42, no 21, 8862-8869 p.
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-277905DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065241ISI: 000368336800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-277905DiVA: diva2:906836
Funder
Swedish Research Council, DNR 621-2014-5526
Available from: 2016-02-25 Created: 2016-02-23 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Andrews, David J.Eriksson, Anders I.

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