On separating space and time variations of auroral precipitation: Dual DMSP-F6 and -F8 observations

Academic Article


  • After the launch of DMSP-F8, into an almost identical orbit to DMSP-F6, there occurred periods every approximately 11 days when the two satellites were very close to each other, thereby allowing for distinguishing between temporal and spatial effects on measured auroral precipitation. We present observations of one such period, when we were able to resolve space and time through multi-point measurements. In this period, the DMSP satellites observed the same general auroral zone precipitation pattern. However one large-scale feature changed vastly in the two minute time separation between the satellites. We demonstrate how this feature can be identified and mapped using two low altitude satellites together with ground magnetic field and radar data. This example underscores the utility of “clustered” satellite constellations at low earth orbit for auroral observations.
  • Authors

  • Jorgensen, AM
  • Spence, Harlan
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 1997
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 453
  • End Page

  • 456
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 3