Statistical behavior of foreshock Langmuir waves observed by the Cluster wideband data plasma wave receiver
- 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, 203 Van Allen Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
- 2Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BW, UK
Abstract. We present the statistics of Langmuir wave amplitudes in the Earth's foreshock using Cluster Wideband Data (WBD) Plasma Wave Receiver electric field waveforms from spacecraft 2, 3 and 4 on 26 March 2002. The largest amplitude Langmuir waves were observed by Cluster near the boundary between the foreshock and solar wind, in agreement with earlier studies. The characteristics of the waves were similar for all three spacecraft, suggesting that variations in foreshock structure must occur on scales greater than the 50-100km spacecraft separations. The electric field amplitude probability distributions constructed using waveforms from the Cluster WBD Plasma Wave Receiver generally followed the log-normal statistics predicted by stochastic growth theory for the event studied. Comparison with WBD receiver data from 17 February 2002, when spacecraft 4 was set in a special manual gain mode, suggests non-optimal auto-ranging of the instrument may have had some influence on the statistics.