Low-Frequency Wave Activity Detected by MMS during Dusk Magnetopause Crossings and its Relation to Heating and Acceleration of Particles
Monday, 14 December 2015: 12:08
2018 (Moscone West)
Since the 9th of July, the MMS fleet of four satellites have evolved into a tetrahedral configuration with an average inter-satellite distance of 160 km and an apogee of 12 earth radii on the dusk side. In this study we report on ultra-low (1 mHz to ~10 Hz) and very-low (10 Hz to ~ 4 kHz) frequency wave activity measured by the four satellites during several crossings of the dusk equatorial magnetopause. Since the Larmor radius of magnetosheath protons is of the order of 50 km, this inter-satellite distance allows us to investigate in detail the physics of the magnetopause at proton scales including current structures related to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability as well as other energy transfer processes. From wave polarization analysis, we characterize the different types of emissions and discuss different mechanisms of heating and acceleration of particles. In particular, we focus on the electron heating by kinetic Alfvén waves and lower hybrid waves and the electron acceleration by oblique whistler mode waves, which have been suggested as possible mechanisms from previous Cluster and THEMIS measurements.