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Journal Articles Radio Science Year : 2017

Electrostatic Potential Radiated by a Pulsating Charge in a Two-Electron Temperature Plasma

Abstract

Mutual impedance experiments have been developed to constrain the plasma bulk properties, such as density and temperature, of ionospheric and later space plasmas, through the electric coupling between an emitter and a receiver electric antennas. So far, the analytical modeling of such instruments has enabled to treat ionospheric plasmas, where charged particles are usually well characterized by Maxwellian electron distributions. With the growth of planetary exploration, mutual impedance experiments are or will be used to constrain space plasma bulk properties. Space plasmas are usually out of local thermodynamic equilibrium; therefore, new methods to calibrate and analyze mutual impedance experiments are now required in such non-Maxwellian plasmas. To this purpose, this work aims at modeling the electric potential generated in a two-electron temperature plasma by a pulsating point charge. A numerical method is developed for the computation of the electrostatic potential in a sum of Maxwellian plasmas. After validating the method, the results are used to build synthetic mutual impedance spectra and quantify the effect of a warm electron population on mutual impedance experiments, in order to illustrate how the method could be applied for recent and future planetary space missions, such as Rosetta, BepiColombo, and JUICE. In particular, we show how it enables to separate the densities and temperatures of two different electron populations using in situ measurements from the RPC-MIP mutual impedance experiment on board Rosetta.
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Dates and versions

insu-01666682 , version 1 (19-12-2017)

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Nicolas Gilet, Pierre Henri, Gaëtan Wattieaux, Marco Cilibrasi, Christian Béghin. Electrostatic Potential Radiated by a Pulsating Charge in a Two-Electron Temperature Plasma. Radio Science, 2017, 52 (11), pp.1432-1448. ⟨10.1002/2017RS006294⟩. ⟨insu-01666682⟩
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