All Physics Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Earth, Planets and Space

Volume

68

Issue

121

Publisher

Springer Open

Publication Date

7-15-2016

First Page

1

Last Page

12

DOI

10.1186/s40623-016-0502-5

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the scale sizes of equatorial plasma irregularities (EPIs) using measurements from the Swarm satellites during its early mission and final constellation phases. We found that with longitudinal separation between Swarm satellites larger than 0.4°, no significant correlation was found any more. This result suggests that EPI structures include plasma density scale sizes less than 44 km in the zonal direction. During the Swarm earlier mission phase, clearly better EPI correlations are obtained in the northern hemisphere, implying more fragmented irregularities in the southern hemisphere where the ambient magnetic field is low. The previously reported inverted-C shell structure of EPIs is generally confirmed by the Swarm observations in the northern hemisphere, but with various tilt angles. From the Swarm spacecrafts with zonal separations of about 150 km, we conclude that larger zonal scale sizes of irregularities exist during the early evening hours (around 1900 LT).

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