The Near-Earth Orbital Environment Coupling to Its Energy Sources
Final rept. 1 Mar 1987-28 Feb 1990
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS SPACE SYSTEMS CO HUNTINGTON BEACH CA
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Under the present study the qualitative work performed earlier has been extended to perform quantitative calculations of the entry of plasma into the magnetosphere. These calculations include the structure of the low-latitude boundary layer and the energy spectrum of the particles within the plasma sheet. These calculations were performed using actual satellite data and virtually no assumed parameters. The success of these calculations provides impressive evidence for the validity of the Gradient Drift Entry theory. It also proves that the widely held notion that the magnetosheath cannot be the source of plasma sheet particles is in error. The success of this study permits the development of quantitative models of the magnetosphere required for the prediction of magnetospheric and upper atmospheric and ionospheric effects on those hardware systems which must operate in Earth orbital space.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics