Numerical Modeling of Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling
This group is creating models of the propagation of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) waves through the magnetosphere. This effort includes three separate but related projects.
- The first project is the development of a global three-dimensional MHD code to describe the interaction of MHD waves with the collisional ionosphere. This model includes the effects of Hall conductivity in the ionosphere as well as the finite magnetic zenith angle (the angle between the magnetic field direction and the vertical). This model also includes the ability to directly calculate ground magnetic signatures of these waves. This model will be extended to include 3-dimensional variations in the ionospheric conductivity and plasma density.
- The second project is development of a more localized code that can describe the role of MHD waves in the development of parallel electric fields in the auroral zone. This model includes parallel electric fields due to electron pressure and inertia as well as a phenomenological model of Landau damping. We will implement this model in the full dipole coordinates used in the previous project. The researchers hope to begin an effort to model electron kinetics in the auroral zone in order to understand the development of plasma double layers on auroral field lines.
- The third project utilizes the TVD/MHD code developed by Professor Tom Jones (Astronomy) and his group to model the nonlinear interactions of shear Alfvén waves in the auroral zone.
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