ROSES ID: NRA-00-OSS-01 Selection Year: 2001
Program Element: Independent Investigation: LWS
Principal Investigator: Robert M. Winglee
Affiliation(s): University of Washington
Summary:The outflow of ions provides an important coupling and transfer of mass and momentum between the auroral ionospheres and the outer magnetosphere. The transport of energized ionospheric ions to the tail requires hours, and allows for the possibility of long-term feedback effects between the magnetosphere and ionosphere. Such effects are interesting and perhaps crucial to understanding the development of substorms. The main obstacle is the fact that measurements of outflow (from low-altitude spacecraft) are performed relative to coordinate systems, which are only loosely related to the instantaneous configuration of the magnetosphere, e.g. MLT and ILAT. By contrast, one could imagine measuring the location and magnitude of ion outflows with respect to the instantaneous locations and strengths of field-aligned current systems. Such an ordering would allow outflow measurements to be used directly as either a ``boundary condition'' input for models or as ``ground truth'' for those capable of computing outflow.
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