Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
28 Feb 2005
 | 28 Feb 2005

Dynamics of Alfvén waves in the night-side ionospheric Alfvén resonator at mid-latitudes

V. V. Alpatov, M. G. Deminov, D. S. Faermark, I. A. Grebnev, and M. J. Kosch

Abstract. A numerical solution of the problem on dynamics of shear-mode Alfvén waves in the ionospheric Alfvén resonator (IAR) region at middle latitudes at nighttime is presented for a case when a source emits a single pulse of duration τ into the resonator region. It is obtained that a part of the pulse energy is trapped by the IAR. As a result, there occur Alfvén waves trapped by the resonator which are being damped. It is established that the amplitude of the trapped waves depends essentially on the emitted pulse duration τ and it is maximum at τ=(3/4)T, where T is the IAR fundamental period. The maximum amplitude of these waves does not exceed 30% of the initial pulse even under optimum conditions. Relatively low efficiency of trapping the shear-mode Alfvén waves is caused by a difference between the optimum duration of the pulse and the fundamental period of the resonator. The period of oscillations of the trapped waves is approximately equal to T, irrespective of the pulse duration τ. The characteristic time of damping of the trapped waves τdec is proportional to T, therefore the resonator Q-factor for such waves is independent of T. For a periodic source the amplitude-frequency characteristic of the IAR has a local minimum at the frequency π/ω=(3/4)T, and the waves of such frequency do not accumulate energy in the resonator region. At the fundamental frequency ω=2π/T the amplitude of the waves coming from the periodic source can be amplified in the resonator region by more than 50%. This alone is a basic difference between efficiencies of pulse and periodic sources of Alfvén waves. Explicit dependences of the IAR characteristics (T, τdec, Q-factor and eigenfrequencies) on the altitudinal distribution of Alfvén velocity are presented which are analytical approximations of numerical results.