Articles | Volume 27, issue 3
12 Mar 2009
 | 12 Mar 2009

The structure of low-latitude Pc3 pulsations observed by CHAMP and on the ground

D. C. Ndiitwani and P. R. Sutcliffe

Abstract. The structure of low-latitude continuous pulsations termed Pc3, which are naturally occurring MHD waves in the Earth's magnetosphere, were studied by comparing ground and satellite magnetic field measurements. Data from two induction magnetometers, located at Hermanus and Sutherland in South Africa were used in conjunction with Challenging Minisatellite Payload (CHAMP) satellite observations to study a Pc3 event observed on 15 February 2003, at a time when CHAMP was passing over the ground stations. We observed a number of discrete frequency oscillations for the fast mode wave, one of which drives a field line resonance (FLR) at characteristic latitude as detected by both ground and satellite measurements. Consequently, our observations confirmed the compressional wave as being the driver of the field line resonance. The toroidal mode frequency observed on CHAMP experienced a Doppler frequency shift due to the rapid motion across the resonance region. Polarization hodograms in the resonance region clearly showed the expected 90° rotation of the field line resonant magnetic field components.