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  1. Winds in the nighttime upper thermosphere are often observed to mimic the ionospheric plasma convection at polar latitudes, and whether the same is true for the daytime winds remains unclear. The dayside sector is subject to large temperature gradient set up by solar irradiance and it also contains the cusp, which is a hotspot of Poynting flux and a region with the strongest soft particle precipitation. We examine daytime winds using a Scanning Doppler Imager (SDI) located at the South Pole, and investigate their distribution under steadily positive and negative IMF Byconditions. The results show that daytime winds exhibit significant differences from the plasma convection. Under negative IMF Byconditions, winds flow in the same direction as the plasma zonally, but have a meridional component that is strongest in the auroral zone. As a result, winds are more poleward-directed than the plasma convection within the auroral zone, and more westward-directed in the polar cap. Under positive IMF Byconditions, winds can flow zonally against the plasma in certain regions. For instance, they flow westward in the polar cap despite the eastward plasma convection there, forming a large angle relative to the plasma convection. The results indicate that ion drag may not be the most dominant force for daytime winds. Although the importance of various forcing terms cannot be resolved with the utilized dataset, we speculate that the pressure gradient force in the presence of cusp heating serves as one important contributor.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Flux transfer events (FTEs) are a type of magnetospheric phenomena that exhibit distinctive observational signatures from the in situ spacecraft measurements. They are generally believed to possess a magnetic field configuration of a magnetic flux rope and formed through magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, sometimes accompanied with enhanced plasma convection in the ionosphere. We examine two FTE intervals under the condition of southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) with a dawn‐dusk component. We apply the Grad‐Shafranov (GS) reconstruction method to the in situ measurements by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft to derive the magnetic flux contents associated with the FTE flux ropes. In particular, given a cylindrical magnetic flux rope configuration derived from the GS reconstruction, the magnetic flux content can be characterized by both the toroidal (axial) and poloidal fluxes. We then estimate the amount of magnetic flux (i.e., the reconnection flux) encompassed by the area “opened” in the ionosphere, based on the ground‐based Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) observations. We find that for event 1, the FTE flux rope is oriented in the approximate dawn‐dusk direction, and the amount of its total poloidal magnetic flux falls within the range of the corresponding reconnection flux. For event 2, the FTE flux rope is oriented in the north‐south direction. Both the FTE flux and the reconnection flux have greater uncertainty. We provide a detailed description about a formation scenario of sequential magnetic reconnection between adjacent field lines based on the FTE flux rope configurations from our results.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  3. Abstract

    Submarine cables have experienced problems during extreme geomagnetic disturbances because of geomagnetically induced voltages adding or subtracting from the power feed to the repeaters. This is still a concern for modern fiber‐optic cables because they contain a copper conductor to carry power to the repeaters. This paper provides a new examination of geomagnetic induction in submarine cables and makes calculations of the voltages experienced by the TAT‐8 trans‐Atlantic submarine cable during the March 1989 magnetic storm. It is shown that the cable itself experiences an induced electromotive force (emf) and that induction in the ocean also leads to changes of potential of the land at each end of the cable. The process for calculating the electric fields induced in the sea and in the cable from knowledge of the seawater depth and conductivity and subsea conductivity is explained. The cable route is divided into 9 sections and the seafloor electric field is calculated for each section. These are combined to give the total induced emf in the cable. In addition, induction in the seawater and leakage of induced currents through the underlying resistive layers are modeled using a transmission line model of the ocean and underlying layers to determine the change in Earth potentials at the cable ends. The induced emf in the cable and the end potentials are then combined to give the total voltage change experienced by the cable power feed equipment. This gives results very close to those recorded on the TAT‐8 cable in March 1989.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  5. Ground-based magnetometers used to measure magnetic fields on the Earth’s surface (B) have played a central role in the development of Heliophysics research for more than a century. These versatile instruments have been adapted to study everything from polar cap dynamics to the equatorial electrojet, from solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling to real-time monitoring of space weather impacts on power grids. Due to their low costs and relatively straightforward operational procedures, these instruments have been deployed in large numbers in support of Heliophysics education and citizen science activities. They are also widely used in Heliophysics research internationally and more broadly in the geosciences, lending themselves to international and interdisciplinary collaborations; for example, ground-based electrometers collocated with magnetometers provide important information on the inductive coupling of external magnetic fields to the Earth’s interior through the induced electric field (E). The purpose of this white paper is to (1) summarize present ground-based magnetometer infrastructure, with a focus on US-based activities, (2) summarize research that is needed to improve our understanding of the causes and consequences of B variations, (3) describe the infrastructure and policies needed to support this research and improve space weather models and nowcasts/forecasts. We emphasize a strategic shift to proactively identify operational efficiencies and engage all stakeholders who need B and E to work together to intelligently design new coverage and instrumentation requirements. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  6. Submarine cables have become a vital component of modern infrastructure, but past submarine cable natural hazard studies have mostly focused on potential cable damage from landslides and tsunamis. A handful of studies examine the possibility of space weather effects in submarine cables. The main purpose of this study is to develop a computational model, using Python , of geomagnetic induction on submarine cables. The model is used to estimate the induced voltage in the submarine cables in response to geomagnetic disturbances. It also utilizes newly acquired knowledge from magnetotelluric studies and associated investigations of geomagnetically induced currents in power systems. We describe the Python-based software, its working principle, inputs/outputs based on synthetic geomagnetic field data, and compare its operational capabilities against analytical solutions. We present the results for different model inputs, and find: 1) the seawater layer acts as a shield in the induction process: the greater the ocean depth, the smaller the seafloor geoelectric field; and 2) the model is sensitive to the Ocean-Earth layered conductivity structure. 
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  7. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of high frequency coherent scatter radars that are used for monitoring the electrodynamics of the Earth’s upper atmosphere at middle, high, and polar latitudes in both hemispheres. pyDARN is an open-source Python-based library developed specifically for visualizing SuperDARN radar data products. It provides various plotting functions of different types of SuperDARN data, including time series plot, range-time parameter plot, fields of view, full scan, and global convection map plots. In this paper, we review the different types of SuperDARN data products, pyDARN’s development history and goals, the current implementation of pyDARN, and various plotting and analysis functionalities. We also discuss applications of pyDARN, how it can be combined with other existing Python software for scientific analysis, challenges for pyDARN development and future plans. Examples showing how to read, visualize, and interpret different SuperDARN data products using pyDARN are provided as a Jupyter notebook. 
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  9. Abstract

    Foreshock transient (FT) events are frequently observed phenomena that are generated by discontinuities in the solar wind. These transient events are known to trigger global‐scale magnetic field perturbations (e.g., ULF waves). We report a series of FT events observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in the upstream bow shock region under quiet solar wind conditions. During the event, ground magnetometers observed significant Pc1 wave activity as well as magnetic impulse events in both hemispheres. Ground Pc1 wave observations show ∼8 min time delay (with some time differences) from each FT event which is observed at the bow shock. We also find that the ground Pc1 waves are observed earlier in the northern hemisphere compared to the southern hemisphere. The observation time difference between the hemispheres implies that the source region of the wave is the off‐equatorial region.

     
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