Propagation and linear mode conversion of magnetosonic and electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves in the radiation belts

first_imgMagnetosonic waves and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are important for electron acceleration and loss from the radiation belts. It is generally understood that these waves are generated by unstable ion distributions that form during geomagnetically disturbed times. Here we show that magnetosonic waves could be a source of EMIC waves as a result of propagation and a process of linear mode conversion. The converse is also possible. We present ray tracing to show how magnetosonic (EMIC) waves launched with large (small) wave normal angles can reach a location where the wave normal angle is zero and the wave frequency equals the so-called crossover frequency whereupon energy can be converted from one mode to another without attenuation. While EMIC waves could be a source of magnetosonic waves below the crossover frequency, magnetosonic waves could be a source of hydrogen band waves but not helium band waves.last_img

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