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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 28, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 28, 743–751, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 28, 743–751, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

ANGEO Communicates 15 Mar 2010

ANGEO Communicates | 15 Mar 2010

On the modeling of planetary plasma environments by a fully kinetic electromagnetic global model HYB-em

V. Pohjola1,2 and E. Kallio1 V. Pohjola and E. Kallio
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Mathematics, University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We have developed a fully kinetic electromagnetic model to study instabilities and waves in planetary plasma environments. In the particle-in-a-cell (PIC) model both ions and electrons are modeled as particles. An important feature of the developed global kinetic model, called HYB-em, compared to other electromagnetic codes is that it is built up on an earlier quasi-neutral hybrid simulation platform called HYB and that it can be used in conjunction with earlier hybrid models. The HYB models have been used during the past ten years to study globally the flowing plasma interaction with various Solar System objects: Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Saturnian moon Titan and asteroids. The new stand-alone fully kinetic model enables us to (1) study the stability of various planetary plasma regions in three-dimensional space, (2) analyze the propagation of waves in a plasma environment derived from the other global HYB models. All particle processes in a multi-ion plasma which are implemented on the HYB platform (e.g. ion-neutral-collisions, chemical processes, particle loss and production processes) are also automatically included in HYB-em model.

In this brief report we study the developed approach by analyzing the propagation of high frequency electromagnetic waves in non-magnetized plasma in two cases: We study (1) expansion of a spherical wave generated from a point source and (2) propagation of a plane wave in plasma. The analysis shows that the HYB-em model is capable of describing these space plasma situations successfully. The analysis also suggests the potential of the developed model to study both high density-high magnetic field plasma environments, such as Mercury, and low density-low magnetic field plasma environments, such as Venus and Mars.

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