Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Special issue:
31 May 1999
31 May 1999

First results from the hot plasma instrument PROMICS-3 on Interball-2

I. Sandahl, S. Barabash, H. Borg, E. Y. Budnik, E. M. Dubinin, U. Eklund, H. Koskinen, K. Lundin, R. Lundin, A. Mälkki, R. Pellinen, N. F. Pissarenko, T. Pulkkinen, and A. V. Zakharov

Abstract. The PROMICS-3 instrument on Interball-2 is nominally identical to the PROMICS-3 instrument on Interball-1. It performs three-dimensional measurements of ions in the energy range 4 eV-70 keV with mass separation and of electrons in the energy range 300 eV-35 keV. Interball-2 was launched on August 29, 1996, into an orbit with the same inclination as that of Interball-1, 63°, but with apogee at 20 000 km. In this study the PROMICS-3 instrument on Interball-2 is briefly described and examples of the first results are presented. Firstly, we report observations of upward moving molecular ions with energies of up to 700 eV at the poleward edge of the auroral oval. Previous observations of outflowing molecular ions have been at lower altitudes and lower energies. Secondly, we show observations of dawnside magnetosheath plasma injections. Using conjugate data from both PROMICS-3 instruments we have found dispersion structures above the morningside auroral oval, which occurred simultaneously with isolated "pockets" of magnetosheath plasma at a distance of XGSM=-14 to -12 RE, which had been injected into the inner part of the low-latitude boundary layer. These isolated plasma structures were sites of strong field-aligned currents and are proposed to be the magnetospheric counterparts of the dispersion structures.

Key words. Magnetospheric physics (auroral phenomena; magnetotail boundary layers; instruments and techniques).

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