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Plasma Tails & Ionospheric SED. J C Foster MIT Haystack Observatory Yosemite 2002. Millstone Hill UHF Radar. Elevation Scans Mid-Latitude Storm Enhanced Density. Electron Density @ 500 km Altitude. Geodetic Latitude. Universal Time 18-19 March 1990. Foster, JGR, 1993. (Foster, JGR, 1993).

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plasma tails ionospheric sed

Plasma Tails & Ionospheric SED

J C FosterMIT Haystack ObservatoryYosemite 2002

millstone hill uhf radar
Millstone Hill UHF Radar

Elevation ScansMid-LatitudeStorm Enhanced Density


Electron Density @ 500 km Altitude

Geodetic Latitude

Universal Time 18-19 March 1990

Foster, JGR, 1993

(Foster, JGR, 1993)


March 1990Su et al., GRL 2001

March 31, 2001IMAGE EUV

penetration jet

A Strong Polarization Electric Field forms in Low-Conductivity Region between the Inner Edge of the Plasmasheet Precipitation and the Plasmapause


Penetration Jet


Penetration Jet

DMSP F15 6 April 2000 21 MLT



effects of penetrating electric fields
Effects of Penetrating Electric Fields
  • Cross-tail electric fields energize and inject particles into the inner magnetosphere forming the disturbance Ring Current
  • Penetrating electric fields uplift and perturb the Plasmasphere and low-latitude ionosphere
  • Storm-Enhanced Density (SED) and detached plasmas are formed as the Penetration Jet overlaps the outer plasmasphere
  • Injected Energetic Ions are Destabilized in Regions of Enhanced Plasma Density
dual effects of penetrating electric fields

Radial E Field

Eastward Penetration Electric Field Uplifts Equatorial Ionosphere

Penetration JetStrips Away Outer Plasmasphere

Dual Effects of Penetrating Electric Fields

Detached Plasmaspheric Regions

Penetration Electric FieldUplifts Equatorial Ionosphere

Polarization JetStrips Away Outer Plasmasphere

variable tec
Variable TEC

Eglin AFB, Fla L=2


GPS Map of TEC July 15, 2000 22:15 UT

Plumes & Blobs of Storm-Enhanced DensitySweep across Mid Latitudes

Penetration Jet

Enhancement and Poleward Expansion ofEquatorial Anomaly


PJ Overlaps Outer Plasmasphere

March 31, 2001DMSP F13


Mid-Latitude Scintillation Hanscom AFB, MA

Scintillation Occurs as SED Sweeps across Mid Latitudes

Millstone Hill ISR

Noontime Scintillation


GPS ROTI Westford MA


Tongues of Ionization

Plasmasphere Drainage Plumes

Storm Enhanced Density

Polar Ionosphere View

Polar Magnetosphere View