Fine Structure of Plasmaspheric Hiss
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Plasmaspheric hiss plays a key role in controlling the structure and dynamics of Earth's radiation belts.The quiet time slot region between the inner and outer belts can be explained as a steady-state balance between earthward radial diffusion and pitch-angle scattering loss of energetic electrons to the atmosphere induced by plasmaspheric hiss. Plasmaspheric hiss can also induce gradual precipitation loss of MeV electrons from the outer radiation belt. Plasmaspheric hiss has been widely regarded as a broadband,structureless,incoherent emission. Here, by examining burst-mode vector waveform data from the EMFISIS instrument on the Van Allen Probes mission,we show that plasmaspheric hiss is a coherent emission with complex fine structure. Specifically, plasmaspheric hiss appears as discrete rising tone and falling tone elements. By means of waveform analysis we identify typical amplitudes,phase profiles,and sweep rates of the rising and falling tone elements. The new observations reported here can be expected to fuel a re-examination of the properties of plasmaspheric hiss, including a further re-analysis of the generation mechanism for hiss.