Investigating the cusp at multiple altitudes
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Investigating the Cusp at Multiple Altitudes. by W. Keith 1 , M. Goldstein 1 , D. Winningham 2 , M. Wilber 3 , A. Fazakerley 4 , H. Reme 5 , T. Fritz 6 , A. Balogh 7 and N. Cornilleau-Wehrlin 8. 1 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 692, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

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Investigating the Cusp at Multiple Altitudes

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Investigating the Cusp at Multiple Altitudes

by

W. Keith1, M. Goldstein1, D. Winningham2, M. Wilber3, A. Fazakerley4, H. Reme5, T. Fritz6, A. Balogh7 and N. Cornilleau-Wehrlin8

1 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 692, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

2 Southwest Research Institute, P. O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228, USA

3 University of California, Space Science Laboratory 7450, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

4 Mullard Space Science Lab, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK

5 CESR BP 4346, 9 Ave Colonel Roche, Cedex, Toulouse, 31029, France

6 Boston University, Ctr. Space Physics, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215, USA

7 Imperial College Space and Atmospheric Physics group, The Blackett Laboratory, London, UK

8 CETP, 10-12 Ave de Europe, Velizy, 78140, France


Crooker Antiparallel merging model results in a wedge-shaped Cusp that rotates with IMF By

  • Figure depicts northern polar cap (shaded) for pure (a) By and (b) - By

  • Edges map to neutral lines in opposite hemispheres

  • Most energetic particles towards the edges, least energetic in the center

  • Green satellite tracks will see a “double” or “V” cusp

  • Red satellite tracks will see normal cusp dispersion pattern


Low-altitude DMSP “V” Cusp Crossing


High-altitude Cluster-3 “V” Cusp Crossing


High-altitude Cluster-1 turbulent “V” Cusp Crossing


Cluster 1-4, RAPID/FGM/PEACE/STAFF


OVT plot of Cluster positions in x-z GSE plane, time-shifted to cusp crossing times

  • Tracks represent position from 9:30 to 10:30 UT

  • Crossing times indicated next to markers

  • Spacecraft motion is northward


Savin outer cusp region with possible satellite tracks for Cluster-1 and Cluster-3


Conclusions/Future Work

  • Small-scale cusp feature consistently present for large IMF By

  • Consistent with Crooker wedge cusp and turbulent exterior cusp

  • Feature present over large altitude range with consistent scaling

  • Cluster differences may be spatial (altitude) rather than temporal

  • Confirm temporal stability of the mid-altitude features

  • Include remaining Cluster instruments in study (especially CODIF)

  • Find additional mid-altitude crossings for study

  • Attempt simultaneous multi-altitude (Cluster/DMSP) observations


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