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Title: Conditions for establishing quasistable double layers in the Earth's auroral upward current region

The strength and stability of simulated double layers at the ionosphere-auroral cavity boundary have been studied as a function of cold ionospheric electron temperature and density. The simulations are performed with an open boundary one-dimensional particle-in- cell (PIC) simulation and are initialized by imposing a density cavity within the simulation domain. The PIC simulation includes H{sup +} and O{sup +} ion beams, a hot H{sup +} background population, cold ionospheric electrons, and a hot electron population. It is shown that a double layer remains quasistable for a variety of initial conditions and plasma parameters. The average potential drop of the double layer is found to increase as the cold electron temperature decreases. However, in terms of cold electron density, the average potential drop of the double layer is found to increase up to some critical cold electron density and decreases above this value. Comparisons with FAST observations are made and agreement is found between simulation results and observations in the shape and width of the double layer. This study helps put a constraint on the plasma conditions in which a DL can be expected to form and remain quasistable.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761 (United States)
  2. Center for Integrated Plasma Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309 (United States)
  3. Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80303 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21532102
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3520058; (c) 2010 American Institute of Physics
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; HYDROGEN IONS 1 PLUS; ION BEAMS; IONOSPHERE; LAYERS; OXYGEN IONS; PLASMA SHEATH; PLASMA SIMULATION BEAMS; CATIONS; CHARGED PARTICLES; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; FERMIONS; HYDROGEN IONS; IONS; LEPTONS; SIMULATION