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  • Myllys, M.; Henri, P.; Vallieres, X.; Gilet, N.; Nilsson, H.; Palmerio, E.; Turc, L.; Wellbrock, A.; Goldstein, R.; Witasse, O. (2021)
    Context. The Mutual Impedance Probe (RPC-MIP) carried by the Rosetta spacecraft monitored both the plasma density and the electric field in the close environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), as the instrument was operating alternatively in two main modes: active and passive. The active mode is used primarily to perform plasma density measurements, while the passive mode enables the instrument to work as a wave analyzer. Aims. We are reporting electric field emissions at the plasma frequency near comet 67P observed by RPC-MIP passive mode. The electric field emissions are related to Langmuir waves within the cometary ionized environment. In addition, this study gives feedback on the density measurement capability of RPC-MIP in the presence of cold electrons. Methods. We studied the occurrence rate of the electric field emissions as well as their dependence on solar wind structures like stream interaction regions (SIRs) and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Results. We are showing that strong electric field emissions at the plasma frequency near 67P were present sporadically throughout the period when Rosetta was escorting the comet, without being continuous, as the occurrence rate is reported to be of about 1% of all the measured RPC-MIP passive spectra showing strong electric field emissions. The Langmuir wave activity monitored by RPC-MIP showed measurable enhancements during SIR or CME interactions and near perihelion. Conclusions. According to our results, Langmuir waves are a common feature at 67P during the passage of SIRs. Comparing the plasma frequency given by the RPC-MIP passive mode during Langmuir wave periods with the RPC-MIP active mode observations, we conclude that the measurement accuracy of RPC-MIP depends on the operational submode when the cold electron component dominates the electron density.
  • Wilson, Lynn B.; Chen, Li-Jen; Wang, Shan; Schwartz, Steven J.; Turner, Drew L.; Stevens, Michael L.; Kasper, Justin C.; Osmane, Adnane; Caprioli, Damiano; Bale, Stuart D.; Pulupa, Marc P.; Salem, Chadi S.; Goodrich, Katherine A. (2019)
    Analyses of 15,314 electron velocity distribution functions (VDFs) within +/- 2 hr of 52 interplanetary (IP) shocks observed by the Wind spacecraft near 1 au are introduced. The electron VDFs are fit to the sum of three model functions for the cold dense core, hot tenuous halo, and field-aligned beam/strahl component. The best results were found by modeling the core as either a bi-kappa or a symmetric (or asymmetric) bi-self-similar VDF, while both the halo and beam/strahl components were best fit to bi-kappa VDF. This is the first statistical study to show that the core electron distribution is better fit to a self-similar VDF than a bi-Maxwellian under all conditions. The self-similar distribution deviation from a Maxwellian is a measure of inelasticity in particle scattering from waves and/or turbulence. The ranges of values defined by the lower and upper quartiles for the kappa exponents are k(ec) similar to 5.40-10.2 for the core, k(eh) similar to 3.58-5.34 for the halo, and k(eb) similar to 3.40-5.16 for the beam/strahl. The lower-to-upper quartile range of symmetric bi-self-similar core exponents is s(ec) similar to 2.00-2.04, and those of asymmetric bi-self-similar core exponents are p(ec) similar to 2.20-4.00 for the parallel exponent and q(ec) similar to 2.00-2.46 for the perpendicular exponent. The nuanced details of the fit procedure and description of resulting data product are also presented. The statistics and detailed analysis of the results are presented in Paper II and Paper III of this three-part study.
  • Wilson, Lynn B.; Chen, Li-Jen; Wang, Shan; Schwartz, Steven J.; Turner, Drew L.; Stevens, Michael L.; Kasper, Justin C.; Osmane, Adnane; Caprioli, Damiano; Bale, Stuart D.; Pulupa, Marc P.; Salem, Chadi S.; Goodrich, Katherine A. (2019)
    A statistical analysis of 15,210 electron velocity distribution function (VDF) fits, observed within +/- 2 hr of 52 interplanetary (IP) shocks by the Wind spacecraft near 1 au, is presented. This is the second in a three-part series on electron VDFs near IP shocks. The electron velocity moment statistics for the dense, low-energy core, tenuous, hot halo, and field-aligned beam/strahl are a statistically significant list of values illustrated with both histograms and tabular lists for reference and baselines in future work. Given the large statistics in this investigation, the beam/strahl fit results in the upstream are now the most comprehensive attempt to parameterize the beam/strahl electron velocity moments in the ambient solar wind. The median density, temperature, beta, and temperature anisotropy values for the core(halo)[beam/strahl] components, with subscripts ec(eh)[eb], of all fit results, respectively, are n(ec(h)[b]) similar to 11.3(0.36)[0.17] cm(-3), T-ec(h)[b],T-tot similar to 14.6(48.4)[40.2] eV, beta(ec(h)[b],tot) similar to 0.93(0.11)[0.05], and Alpha(ec(h)[b]) similar to 0.98(1.03)[0.93]. This work will also serve as a 1 au baseline and reference for missions like Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter.