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Saito Y.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | Sauvaud J.A.,Roche Holding AG | Hirahara M.,University of Tokyo | Barabash S.,Swedish Institute of Space Physics | And 3 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2010

Mercury is one of the least explored planets in our solar system. Until the recent flyby of Mercury by MESSENGER, no spacecraft had visited Mercury since Mariner 10 made three flybys: two in 1974 and one in 1975. In order to elucidate the detailed plasma structure and dynamics around Mercury, an orbiter BepiColombo MMO (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter) is planned to be launched in 2013 as a joint mission between ESA and ISAS/JAXA. Mercury Plasma Particle Experiment (MPPE) was proposed in order to investigate the plasma/particle environment around Mercury. MPPE is a comprehensive instrument package for plasma, high-energy particle and energetic neutral atom measurements. It consists of seven sensors: two Mercury electron analyzers (MEA1 and MEA2), Mercury ion analyzer (MIA), Mercury mass spectrum analyzer (MSA), high-energy particle instrument for electron (HEP-ele), high-energy particle instrument for ion (HEP-ion), and energetic neutrals analyzer (ENA). Since comprehensive full three-dimensional simultaneous measurements of low to high-energy ions and electrons around Mercury as well as measurements of energetic neutral atoms will not be realized before BepiColombo/MMO's arrival at Mercury, it is expected that many unresolved problems concerning the Mercury magnetosphere will be elucidated by the MPPE observation. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Akalin F.,University of Iowa | Morgan D.D.,University of Iowa | Gurnett D.A.,University of Iowa | Kirchner D.L.,University of Iowa | And 4 more authors.
Icarus | Year: 2010

The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) onboard the Mars Express spacecraft has occasionally displayed surprising features. One such feature is the occurrence of a series of broadband, low-frequency echoes at equally spaced delay times after the sounder transmitter pulse. The interval between the echoes has been shown to be at the cyclotron period of electrons orbiting in the local magnetic field. The electrons are believed to be accelerated by the large voltages applied to the antenna by the sounder transmitter. Measurements of the period of these "electron cyclotron echoes" provide a simple technique for determining the magnitude of the magnetic field near the spacecraft. These measurements are particularly useful because Mars Express carries no magnetometer, so this is the only method available for measuring the magnetic field magnitude. Using this technique, results are presented showing the large scale structure of the draped field inside the magnetic pile-up boundary. The magnitude of the draped field is shown to vary from about 40 nT at a solar zenith angle of about 25°, to about 25 nT at a solar zenith angle of 90°. The results compare favorably with similar results from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. A fitting technique is developed to derive the vector direction and magnitude of the draped magnetic field in cases where the spacecraft passes through regions with significant variation in the crustal field. The magnetic field directions are consistent with current knowledge of the draping geometry of the magnetic field around Mars. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.

Brain D.,University of California at Berkeley | Barabash S.,Swedish Institute of Space Physics | Boesswetter A.,TU Braunschweig | Bougher S.,University of Michigan | And 25 more authors.
Icarus | Year: 2010

We present initial results from the first community-wide effort to compare global plasma interaction model results for Mars. Seven modeling groups participated in this activity, using MHD, multi-fluid, and hybrid assumptions in their simulations. Moderate solar wind and solar EUV conditions were chosen, and the conditions were implemented in the models and run to steady state. Model output was compared in three ways to determine how pressure was partitioned and conserved in each model, the location and asymmetry of plasma boundaries and pathways for planetary ion escape, and the total escape flux of planetary oxygen ions. The two participating MHD models provided similar results, while the five sets of multi-fluid and hybrid results were different in many ways. All hybrid results, however, showed two main channels for oxygen ion escape (a pickup ion 'plume' in the hemisphere toward which the solar wind convection electric field is directed, and a channel in the opposite hemisphere of the central magnetotail), while the MHD models showed one (a roughly symmetric channel in the central magnetotail). Most models showed a transition from an upstream region dominated by plasma dynamic pressure to a magnetosheath region dominated by thermal pressure to a low altitude region dominated by magnetic pressure. However, calculated escape rates for a single ion species varied by roughly an order of magnitude for similar input conditions, suggesting that the uncertainties in both the current and integrated escape over martian history as determined by models are large. These uncertainties are in addition to those associated with the evolution of the Sun, the martian dynamo, and the early atmosphere, highlighting the challenges we face in constructing Mars' past using models. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bankov L.G.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Parrot M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Heelis R.A.,University of Texas at Dallas | Berthelier J.-J.,CETP IPSL | And 2 more authors.
Advances in Space Research | Year: 2010

In the present paper, plasma probe data taken from DEMETER and DMSP-F15 satellites were used to study the ion density and temperature disturbances in the morning topside ionosphere, caused by seismic activity at low latitudes. French DEMETER (Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions) micro-satellite mission had been especially designed to provide global scale observations in the topside ionosphere over seismically active regions. Onboard the DEMETER satellite, the thermal plasma instrument called "Instrument Analyser de Plasma" (IAP) provides ion mass and densities, ion temperature, three component ion drift and ion density irregularities measurements. As a part of "Defense Meteorological Satellite Program", DMSP-F15 satellite is on orbit operation since 1999. It provides ionospheric plasma diagnostics by means of the "Special Sensor-Ion, Electron and Scintillations" (SSIES-2) instrument. We examined few examples of possible seismic effects in the equatorial ionosphere, probably associated with seismic activity during December month in the area of Sumatra Island, including main shock of giant Sumatra event. It is found that the localized topside ionospheric disturbances appear close to the epicenters of certain earthquakes in the Sumatra region. In two cases, ion H+/O+ ratio rises more than one hour before the main shock, due to the O+ density decrease at the winter side of the geomagnetic equator, with longitudinally closest location to the epicenter of the earthquakes. These anomalous depletions in O+ density do exist in all cases of SSIES-2 data. Particularly for Sumatra main event, more than one hour after the main shock, we observe large-scale depletion in O+ density northward of the geomagnetic equator at winter side hemisphere. Associated with O+ depletion, ion temperature latitudinal profile around the geomagnetic equator shows enhanced asymmetry with minimum at the summer side and maximum in positive Ti deviation from mean value at the winter side. This disturbance lasted for more than three hours, later in time observed at the same place by IAP/DEMETER. © 2010 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Gladyshev V.A.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Shchekotov A.Y.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Yagova N.V.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Berthelier J.-J.,CETP IPSL | And 6 more authors.
Cosmic Research | Year: 2012

Variations in concentration of ions H+, He+, and O+ are studied at a height of about 700 km using the data of continuous observations onboard the DEMETER satellite at the decline and in the minimum of solar activity from 2004 to 2008. Latitudinal distributions, seasonal behavior, and irregular variations in ion concentrations and their dependence on solar and geomagnetic activity are considered. Within this altitude range, for the first time an analysis is performed of the dataset of many-year continuous observations in both hemispheres from the equatorial to subauroral latitudes. This made it possible to describe the seasonal and irregular variations of the concentrations of main ion species with better time and spatial resolution than in the available empirical models. The dependence of concentrations of three types of ions on solar and geomagnetic activity is studied at time scales from several days to several years, and it is shown that the anti-phase change in concentrations of O+ and light ions known from publications is partly a result of mutual dependence of solar and geomagnetic activity and is observed only at time scales beginning from several months. At time scales from several days to several weeks, variations in the concentration of O+ and light ions are governed mainly by solar and geomagnetic activity, respectively. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

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