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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 27, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 27, 3249–3273, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-3249-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 27, 3249–3273, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-3249-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  19 Aug 2009

19 Aug 2009

Analysis of three-spacecraft data using planar reciprocal vectors: methodological framework and spatial gradient estimation

J. Vogt1, A. Albert1, and O. Marghitu2 J. Vogt et al.
  • 1School of Engineering and Science, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany
  • 2Institute for Space Sciences, Bucharest, Romania

Abstract. In the context of ESA's Cluster mission, four-point array techniques are widely used to analyze space plasma phenomena such as shocks and discontinuities, waves and turbulence, and spatial gradients. Due to failures of single instruments on the Cluster spacecraft fleet, there is also need for array processing of three-point measurements. In this paper we identify planar reciprocal vectors as a generic tool for this purpose. The class of three-point techniques introduced here includes methods for discontinuity analysis, wave identification, and spatial gradient determination. Parameter vectors can be resolved fully in the spacecraft plane but further assumptions or physical constraints have to be specified to estimate the normal components. We focus on the gradient estimation problem where we check and illustrate our approach using Cluster measurements.

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