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An unusual VLF signature structure recorded by the DEMETER satellite

By Csaba Ferencz, Janos Lichtenberger, Daniel Hamar, Orsolya E. Ferencz, Peter Steinbach, Balazs Szekely, Michel Parrot, Francois Lefeuvre, Jean-Jacques Berthelier and Mark Clilverd

Abstract

A type of electromagnetic phenomenon has been found in the electric VLF data measured by the low Earth orbit DEMETER satellite, which was nonidentified earlier as a different class of electromagnetic VLF events. The phenomenon, termed as “swallow-tailed whistler” (STW) after its shape, seems to be similar to a whistler, but following the main trace, an additional trace appears with monotonously increasing frequency. The secondary trace, lasting less than 80 ms within the recorded 20 kHz bandwidth joins at a given Starting Furcation Frequency. In a 7 month long time interval three series of strong STWs were found in a geographically confined search zone. Further, 10 weak STW periods have been identified by a thorough review of a 2 month long recording. Several STWs were found by the investigation of randomly selected DEMETER burst VLF recording acquired globally. On the basis of comparisons with previous studies, we can exclude that this phenomenon is generated by plasma processes in the vicinity of the satellite though the formation mechanism of this (ionospheric) signal is so far unclear. It is possible that this event type appeared in earlier records too, however, without identification

Topics: Physics, Atmospheric Sciences
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2009JA014636
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10490

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