A New Method of 3-D Magnetic Field Reconstruction

Academic Article


  • A method is described to model the magnetic field in the vicinity of constellations of multiple satellites using field and plasma current measurements. This quadratic model has the properties that the divergence is zero everywhere and matches the measured values of the magnetic field and its curl (current) at each spacecraft, and thus extends the linear curlometer method to second order. It is able to predict the topology of the field lines near magnetic structures, such as near reconnecting regions or flux ropes, and allows a tracking of the motion of these structures relative to the spacecraft constellation. Comparisons to PIC simulations estimate the model accuracy. Reconstruction of two electron diffusion regions show the expected field line structure. The model can be applied to other small-scale phenomena (bow shock, waves of commensurate wavelength), and can be modified to reconstruct also the electric field, allowing tracing of particle trajectories.
  • Authors

  • Torbert, RB
  • Dors, I
  • Argall, MR
  • Genestreti, KJ
  • Burch, JL
  • Farrugia, Charles
  • Forbes, TG
  • Giles, BL
  • Strangeway, RJ
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 16, 2020
  • Published In


  • physics.space-ph
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)


  • 47
  • Issue

  • 3