Dispersive O+ conics observed in the plasma-sheet boundary layer with CRRES/LOMICS during a magnetic storm
Abstract. We present initial results from the Low-energy magnetospheric ion composition sensor (LOMICS) on the Combined release and radiation effects satellite (CRRES) together with electron, magnetic field, and electric field wave data. LOMICS measures all important magnetospheric ion species (H+, He++, He+, O++, O+) simultaneously in the energy range 60 eV to 45 keV, as well as their pitch-angle distributions, within the time resolution afforded by the spacecraft spin period of 30 s. During the geomagnetic storm of 9 July 1991, over a period of 42 min (0734 UT to 0816 UT) the LOMICS ion mass spectrometer observed an apparent O+ conic flowing away from the southern hemisphere with a bulk velocity that decreased exponentially with time from 300 km/s to 50 km/s, while its temperature also decreased exponentially from 700 to 5 eV. At the onset of the O+ conic, intense low-frequency electromagnetic wave activity and strong pitch-angle scattering were also observed. At the time of the observations the CRRES spacecraft was inbound at L~7.5 near dusk, magnetic local time (MLT), and at a magnetic latitude of –23°. Our analysis using several CRRES instruments suggests that the spacecraft was skimming along the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) when the upward-flowing ion conic arrived. The conic appears to have evolved in time, both slowing and cooling, due to wave-particle interactions. We are unable to conclude whether the conic was causally associated with spatial structures of the PSBL or the central plasma sheet.