2011 SuperDARN Workshop       

AMPERE and SuperDARN: What's in it for me?

L.B.N. Clausen (1), J.B.H. Baker (1), J.M. Ruohoniemi (1), B.J. Anderson (2)
(1) Space@VT, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
(2) Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, USA

abstract. The AMPERE project has recently started to produce and make publicly available global measurements of field-aligned currents (FACs) derived from measurements of horizontal magnetic perturbations observed by the 66 satellites of the Iridium constellation. In this paper we present a number of case studies highlighting how these global observations of currents can be combined with global and local observations of ionospheric convection as provided by the SuperDARN radars. Specifically, we present case studies during strongly northward and strongly southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), focusing on the direction and location of both the observed currents and ionospheric flows. For each interval we present estimates of the Poynting flux into the polar ionosphere by combining the electric and magnetic field measurements. Furthermore we present long term (~months) estimates of the integrated energy flux and relate these to solar wind conditions. The AMPERE data se t provides, for the first time, global continuous estimates of FACs on the time scale of minutes which, when combined with SuperDARN convection observations, provide a formidable resource for characterizing the state of the polar ionosphere during multiple levels of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling.

Sakaguchi KaoriNICT Japan