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On the multispacecraft determination of periodic surface wave phase speeds and wavelengths

By C. (Claire) Foullon, C. J. (Charles John) Farrugia, A. N. Fazakerley, C. J. (Christopher J.) Owen, F. T. Gratton and Roy Banks Torbert

Abstract

Observations of surface waves on the magnetopause indicate a wide range of phase velocities and wavelengths. Their multispacecraft analysis allows a more precise determination of wave characteristics than ever before and reveal shortcomings of approximations to the phase speed that take a predetermined fraction of the magnetosheath speed or the average flow velocity in the boundary layer. We show that time lags between two or more spacecraft can give a qualitative upper estimate, and we confirm the unreliability of flow approximations often used by analyzing a few cases. Using two‐point distant magnetic field observations and spectral analysis of the tailward magnetic field component, we propose an alternative method to estimate the wavelength and phase speed at a single spacecraft from a statistical fit to the data at the other site

Topics: QB
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3881

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