Articles | Volume 24, issue 6
03 Jul 2006
 | 03 Jul 2006

Multiple Triangulation Analysis: another approach to determine the orientation of magnetic flux ropes

X.-Z. Zhou, Q.-G. Zong, Z. Y. Pu, T. A. Fritz, M. W. Dunlop, Q. Q. Shi, J. Wang, and Y. Wei

Abstract. Another approach (Multiple Triangulation Analysis, MTA) is presented to determine the orientation of magnetic flux rope, based on 4-point measurements. A 2-D flux rope model is used to examine the accuracy of the MTA technique in a theoretical way. It is found that the precision of the estimated orientation is dependent on both the spacecraft separation and the constellation path relative to the flux rope structure. However, the MTA error range can be shown to be smaller than that of the traditional MVA technique. As an application to real Cluster data, several flux rope events on 26 January 2001 are analyzed using MTA, to obtain their orientations. The results are compared with the ones obtained by several other methods which also yield flux rope orientation. The estimated axis orientations are shown to be fairly close, suggesting the reliability of the MTA method.