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  1. Abstract

    The Whole Heliosphere and Planetary Interactions initiative was established to leverage relatively quiet intervals during solar minimum to better understand the interconnectedness of the various domains in the heliosphere. This study provides an expansive mosaic of observations spanning from the Sun, through interplanetary space, to the magnetospheric response and subsequent effects on the ionosphere‐thermosphere‐mesosphere (ITM) system. To accomplish this, a diverse set of observational datasets are utilized from 2019 July 26 to October 16 (i.e., over three Carrington rotations, CR2220, CR2221, and CR2222) with connections of these observations to the more focused studies submitted to this special issue. Particularly, this study focuses on two long‐lived coronal holes and their varying impact in sculpting the heliosphere and driving of the magnetospheric system. As a result, the evolution of coronal holes, impacts on the inner heliosphere solar wind, glimpses at mesoscale solar wind variability, magnetospheric response to these evolving solar wind drivers, and resulting ITM phenomena are captured to reveal the interconnectedness of this system‐of‐systems.

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  2. Abstract

    The effects of a solar wind pressure pulse on the terrestrial magnetosphere have been observed in detail across multiple datasets. The communication of these effects into the magnetosphere is known as a positive geomagnetic sudden impulse (+SI), and are observed across latitudes and different phenomena to characterize the propagation of +SI effects through the magnetosphere. A superposition of Alfvén and compressional propagation modes are observed in magnetometer signatures, with the dominance of these signatures varying with latitude. For the first time, collocated lobe reconnection convection vortices and region 0 field aligned currents are observed preceding the +SI onset, and an enhancement of these signatures is observed as a result of +SI effects. Finally, cusp auroral emission is observed collocated with the convection and current signatures. For the first time, simultaneous observations across multiple phenomena are presented to confirm models of +SI propagation presented previously.

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  3. Abstract

    The World Magnetic Model (WMM) is a geomagnetic main field model that is widely used for navigation by governments, industry and the general public. In recent years, the model has been derived using high accuracy magnetometer data from the Swarm mission. This study explores the possibility of developing future WMMs in the post-Swarm era using data from the Iridium satellite constellation. Iridium magnetometers are primarily used for attitude control, so they are not designed to produce the same level of accuracy as magnetic data from scientific missions. Iridium magnetometer errors range from 30 nT quantization to hundreds of nT errors due to spacecraft contamination and calibration uncertainty, whereas Swarm measurements are accurate to about 1 nT. The calibration uncertainty in the Iridium measurements is identified as a major error source, and a method is developed to calibrate the spacecraft measurements using data from a subset of the INTERMAGNET observatory network producing quasi-definitive data on a regular basis. After calibration, the Iridium data produced main field models with approximately 20 nT average error and 40 nT maximum error as compared to the CHAOS-7.2 model. For many scientific and precision navigation applications, highly accurate Swarm-like measurements are still necessary, however, the Iridium-based models were shown to meet the WMM error tolerances, indicating that Iridium is a viable data source for future WMMs.

    Graphical Abstract

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  4. Abstract

    The sub‐auroral polarization stream (SAPS) is a region of westward high velocity plasma convection equatorward of the auroral oval that plays an important role in mid‐latitude space weather dynamics. In this study, we present observations of SAPS flows extending across the North American sector observed during the recovery phase of a minor geomagnetic storm. A resurgence in substorm activity drove a new set of field‐aligned currents (FACs) into the ionosphere, initiating the SAPS. An upward FAC system is the most prominent feature spreading across most SAPS local times, except near dusk, where a downward current system is pronounced. The location of SAPS flows remained relatively constant, firmly inside the trough, independent of the variability in the location and intensity of the FACs. The SAPS flows were sustained even after the FACs weakened and retreated polewards with a decline in geomagnetic activity. The observations indicate that the mid‐latitude trough plays a crucial role in determining the location of the SAPS and that SAPS flows can be sustained even after the magnetospheric driver has weakened.

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  5. Abstract

    A new technique has been developed to determine the high‐latitude electric potential from observed field‐aligned currents (FACs) and modeled ionospheric conductances. FACs are observed by the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE), while the conductances are modeled by Sami3 is Also a Model of the Ionosphere (SAMI3). This is a development of the Magnetosphere‐Ionosphere Coupling approach first demonstrated by Merkin and Lyon (2010), An advantage of using SAMI3 is that the model can be used to predict total electron content (TEC), based on the AMPERE‐derived potential solutions. 23 May 2014 is chosen as a case study to assess the new technique for a moderately disturbed case (min Dst: −36 nT, max AE: 909 nT) with good GPS data coverage. The new AMPERE/SAMI3 solutions are compared against independent GPS‐based TEC observations from the Multi‐Instrument Data Analysis Software (MIDAS) by Mitchell and Spencer (2003), and against Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) ion drift data. The comparison shows excellent agreement between the location of the tongue of ionization in the MIDAS GPS data and the AMPERE/SAMI3 potential pattern, and good overall agreement with DMSP drifts. SAMI3 predictions of high‐latitude TEC are much improved when using the AMPERE‐derived potential as compared to Weimer's (2005), The two potential models have substantial differences, with Weimer producing an average 77 kV cross‐cap potential versus 60 kV for the AMPERE‐derived potential. The results indicate that the 66‐satellite Iridium constellation provides sufficient resolution of FACs to estimate large‐scale ionospheric convection as it impacts TEC.

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  6. Abstract

    Lobe reconnection is usually thought to play an important role in geospace dynamics only when the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) is mainly northward. This is because the most common and unambiguous signature of lobe reconnection is the strong sunward convection in the polar cap ionosphere observed during these conditions. During more typical conditions, when the IMF is mainly oriented in a dawn‐dusk direction, plasma flows initiated by dayside and lobe reconnection both map to high‐latitude ionospheric locations in close proximity to each other on the dayside. This makes the distinction of the source of the observed dayside polar cap convection ambiguous, as the flow magnitude and direction are similar from the two topologically different source regions. We here overcome this challenge by normalizing the ionospheric convection observed by the Super Dual Aurora Radar Network (SuperDARN) to the polar cap boundary, inferred from simultaneous observations from the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE). This new method enable us to separate and quantify the relative contribution of both lobe reconnection and dayside/nightside (Dungey cycle) reconnection during periods of dominating IMFBy. Our main findings are twofold. First, the lobe reconnection rate can typically account for 20% of the Dungey cycle flux transport during local summer when IMFByis dominating and IMFBz ≥ 0. Second, the dayside convection relative to the open/closed boundary is vastly different in local summer versus local winter, as defined by the dipole tilt angle.

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  7. Abstract

    The role of diffuse electron precipitation in the formation of subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) is investigated with the Multiscale Atmosphere‐Geospace Environment (MAGE) model. Diffuse precipitation is derived from the distribution of drifting electrons. SAPS manifest themselves as a separate mesoscale flow channel in the duskside ionosphere, which gradually merges with the primary auroral convection toward dayside as the equatorward auroral boundary approaches the poleward Region‐2 field‐aligned currents (FACs) boundary. SAPS expand to lower latitudes and toward the nightside during the main phase of a geomagnetic storm, associated with magnetotail earthward plasma flows building up the ring current and intensifying Region‐2 FACs and electron precipitation. SAPS shrink poleward and sunward as the interplanetary magnetic field turns northward. When diffuse precipitation is turned off in a controlled MAGE simulation, ring current and duskside Region‐2 FACs become weaker, but subauroral zonal ion drifts are still comparable to auroral convection. However, subauroral and auroral convection manifest as a single broad flow channel without showing any mesoscale structure. SAPS overlap with the downward Region‐2 FACs equatorward of diffuse precipitation, where poleward electric fields are strong due to a low conductance in the subauroral ionosphere. The Region‐2 FACs extend to latitudes lower than the diffuse precipitation because the ring current protons penetrate closer to the Earth than the electrons do. This study reproduces the key physics of SAPS formation and their evolution in the coupled magnetosphere‐ionosphere during a geomagnetic storm. Diffuse electron precipitation is demonstrated to play a critical role in determining SAPS location and structure.

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  8. Abstract

    Characterization of Earth's magnetic field is key to understanding dynamics of the core. We assess whether Iridium Communications magnetometer data can be used for this purpose since. The 66 Iridium satellites are in 86° inclination, 780 km altitude, circular orbits, with 11 satellites in each of six orbit planes. In one day the constellation returns 300,000 measurements spanning the globe with <2° spacing. We used data from January 2010 through November 2015, and compared against International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF‐11) to inter‐calibrate all data to the same model. Geomagnetically quiet 24‐h intervals were selected using the total Birkeland current, auroral electrojet, and ring current indices. Thez‐scores for these quantities were combined and the quietest 16 intervals from each quarter selected for analysis. Residuals between the data and IGRF‐11 yield consistent patterns that evolve gradually from 2010 to 2015. Residuals for each day were binned in 9° latitude by 9° longitude and the distributions about the mean in each bin are Gaussian with 1‐sigma standard errors of ∼3 nT. Spherical harmonic coefficients for each quiet day were computed and time series of the coefficients used to identify artifacts at the orbit precession (8 months) and seasonal (12 months) periods and their harmonics which were then removed by notch filtering. This analysis yields time series at 800 virtual geomagnetic observatories each providing a global field map using a single day of data. The results and CHAOS 7.4 generally agree, but systematic differences larger than the statistical uncertainties are present that warrant further exploration.

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  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 16, 2024
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 28, 2024