First detection of global dawn-dusk ionospheric current intensities using Ampere's integral law on Orsted orbits

P. Stauning, Fritz Primdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The magnetic measurements by the Orsted satellite in noon-midnight orbits have enabled the derivation of the global dawn-dusk oriented ionospheric currents from an Ampere's law closed loop line integral of the geomagnetic vector field along the satellite track. The globally integrated dawn-to-dusk ionospheric current is found to be proportional to the gee-effective solar wind electric field and is around 1 million ampere for a typical solar wind electric field of 2 mV/m. Dividing the Ampere integral into semi-orbit parts has enabled us to show that the hemispherical total current intensities depend on the respective polar cap conductivities, which relate to the daily and seasonally varying solar illumination. The more illuminated hemisphere conveys up to three times more current from dawn to dusk than does the less illuminated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume27
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)3273-3276
ISSN0094-8276
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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