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

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Authors

  • Foullon, C
  • Farrugia, Charles
  • Fazakerley, AN
  • Owen, CJ
  • Gratton, FT
  • Torbert, RB
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2, 2010
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • n/a
  • End Page

  • n/a
  • Volume

  • 115
  • Issue

  • A9