Systematic analysis of equatorial noise below the lower hybrid frequency
- 1Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, V Holešovičkách 2, Prague, CZ-18000, Czech Republic
- 2LESIA/Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, F-92195, Meudon Cedex, France
- 3CETP/IPSL, 10/12 Avenue de L’Europe, Vélizy, F-78140, France
Abstract. We report results of a systematic analysis of a large number of observations of equatorial noise between the local proton cyclotron frequency and the local lower hybrid frequency. The analysis is based on the data collected by the STAFF-SA instruments on board the four Cluster spacecraft. The data set covers their first two years of measurement in the equatorial magnetosphere at radial distances between 3.9 and 5 Earth radii. Inspection of 781 perigee passages shows that the occurrence rate of equatorial noise is approximately 60%. We identify equatorial noise by selecting data with nearly linearly polarized magnetic field fluctuations. These waves are found within 10° of the geomagnetic equator, consistent with the published past observations. Our results show that equatorial noise has the most intense magnetic field fluctuations among all the natural emissions in the given interval of frequencies and latitudes. Electric field fluctuations of equatorial noise are also more intense compared to the average of all detected waves. Equatorial noise thus can play a non-negligible role in the dynamics of the internal magnetosphere.