Date of Award

11-8-2013

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics

Department

Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Katariina Nykyri

First Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Zettegren

Second Committee Member

Dr. Anthony Reynolds

Abstract

We have estimated the ionospheric location, area, and travel time of quasi-periodic oscillations originating from the magnetospheric flanks. This was accomplished by utilizing global and local MHD models and Tsyganenko semi-empirical magnetic field model on multiple published and four new cases believed to be caused by the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability. Finally, we used auroral, magnetometer, and radar instruments to observe the ionospheric signatures. The ionospheric magnetic latitude determined using global MHD and Tsyganenko models ranged from 58.3-80.2 degrees in the northern hemisphere and -59.6 degrees to -83.4 degrees in the southern hemisphere. The ionospheric magnetic local time ranged between 5.0-13.8 hours in the northern hemisphere and 1.3-11.9 hours in the southern hemisphere. Typical Alfvén wave travel time from space raft location to the closest ionosphere ranged between 0.6-3.6 minutes. The projected ionospheric size calculated at an altitude of 100 km ranged from 47-606 km, the same order of magnitude as previously determined ionospheric signature sizes. Stationary and traveling convection vortices were observed in SuperDARN radar data in both hemispheres. The vortices were between 500-1,800 km in size. Some events were located within the ionospheric footprint ranges. Pc5 magnetic oscillations were observed in SuperMAG magnetometer data in both hemispheres. The oscillations had periods between 4-10 minutes with amplitudes of 3-25 nT. They were located within the ionospheric footprint ranges. Some ground magnetometer data power spectral density peaked at frequencies within one tenth of a mHz of the peaks found in the corresponding Cluster data. These magnetometer observations were consistent with previously published results.

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