GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 25, NO. 12, JUNE 15, 1998

The association of electrostatic ion cyclotron waves, ion and electron beams and field-aligned currents: FAST observations of an auroral zone crossing near midnight


C. Cattell1, R. Bergmann2, K. Sigsbee1, C. Carlson3, C. Chaston3, R. Ergun3, J. McFadden3, F. S. Mozer3, M. Temerin3, R. Strangeway4, R. Elphic5, L. Kistler6, E. Moebius6, L. Tang6, D. Klumpar7, R. Pfaff8


1School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
2Department of Physics, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
3Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA
4Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
5Space and Atmospheric Sciences, Los Alamos National Lab Los Alamos, NM
6University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
7Lockheed/Martin Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA
8NASA/GSFC, Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, Greenbelt, MD



ABSTRACT. FAST particle and wave data for a single nightside auroral zone crossing are utilized to examine the free energy source for electrostatic ion cyclotron (EIC) waves. Comparisons of the unstable wave modes, obtained by an electrostatic linear dispersion relation solver, to the observed waves for two intervals with upflowing ion beams and two with upflowing electron beams are consistent with the conclusion that the observed waves near the cyclotron frequencies are EIC which are driven by the electron drift both in the upgoing ion beam regions and in the upgoing electron regions. A limitation is that the drifting bi-Maxwellian model used in the dispersion relation is not a good match to the observed upflowing electron distributions. The observed ion beams do not drive EIC waves; however, the relative drift of the various ion species comprising the ion beam can drive low frequency (<~50 Hz) waves unstable. The electron drift, during some intervals, also destabilizes electron acoustic waves.


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