Swarm Observations of Field Aligned Currents during Geomagnetic Storms
Monday, 14 December 2015: 09:00
2018 (Moscone West)
Field-aligned currents connect the Earth’s magnetosphere to the high latitude ionosphere, and provide a main channel for energy transfer from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere. They are driven by solar wind-magnetosphere interactions and respond dynamically to changes in the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field. Enhanced interaction during geomagnetic storms significantly intensifies their strength and variability. In this paper, we review our recent observations of field-aligned currents (FACs) during geomagnetic storms using observations from polar orbiting Swarm constellation as well as the Active Magnetosphere and Polar Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE). Both temporal resolutions and spatial coverage of these observations provide new insights in understanding the FACs and the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. We will discuss their spatial and temporal evolutions, ionospheric closure currents, and hemispheric asymmetry during storms.