Research objectives and content
The objectives of the project are to study plasma convection patterns in the Earth's magnetosphere. Of special interest are the so-called flux transfer events (FTEs), important transfer of magnetic flux and energy from the solar wind to the magnetosphere resulting from localized and sporadic magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause. The signature of these events at the level of the ionosphere has proven to be elusive and their contribution to the global transfer of flux. is not known for certain.
The work will consist of three parts: - Modeling of FTE signatures in the ionosphere as detected by SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) radars and of signatures detected by low altitude satellites. - Identification of FTE signatures in the data mentioned above using the models and parameter fits. - Theoretical interpretation of the signatures and determination of the importance of FTEs for the global transfer of | flUX.
The primary purpose of the project is thus to securely identify signatures of FTEs in the ionosphere and determine their importance for the magnetosperic dynamics.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The applicant will forge his skills in space plasma physics, a domain that is the focus of many ground-based experiments and earth satellite missions and which has become increasingly important when dealing with the influence of solar and magneto- spheric plasma processes on human space activities. Under normal circumstances, the research will lead to a doctoral degree in plasma physics. Given the international context of the SuperDARN project (USA, Canada, UK, France, Sweden, Finland, Japan and South- Africa) and the fact that two of the SuperDARN radars are installed in Iceland, the formation of an Icelandic physicist in this field is an excellent cooperation opportunity.