HAO Colloquium - Brian Anderson, JHU/APL

Global, Continuous High-Latitude Electrodynamics from Commercial In-situ Sensors: Science and Lessons from the Active Magnetosphere and Polar Electrodynamics Response Experiment - AMPERE 

B J Anderson, H Korth, C L Waters, and R J Barnes

The solar wind interaction with Earth’s magnetic field drives dynamics in the magnetosphere and ionosphere which although almost always present at some level, are most profound during geomagnetic storms. The outlines of the magnetic storms have been known for decades, but documenting the actual behavior of the storm-time system requires continuous, globally-distributed observations that have been difficult to obtain. Since the late 1990s, constellations of commercial satellites have been launched into low Earth orbit which in principle can re-sample relevant regions of geospace on time scales much shorter than a geomagnetic storm. AMPERE uses the avionics magnetometer data of the Iridium Communications constellation to detect the magnetic field-aligned Birkeland currents that link the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Returning 24/7 observations since January 2010, AMPERE continues to yield a wealth of new insights into high-latitude electrodynamics during storms, confirming the high value of constellation-class observations. In addition, the challenges of implementing AMPERE offer useful lessons in the challenges encountered when coordinating innovative applications of commercial systems with federal sponsors.



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm