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He2+ transport in the Martian upper atmosphere with an induced magnetic field
Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
Swedish Institute of Space Physics / Institutet för rymdfysik.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 118, no 3, 1231-1242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Solar wind helium may be a significant source of neutral helium in the Martian atmosphere. The precipitating particles also transfer mass, energy, and momentum. To investigate the transport of He2+ in the upper atmosphere of Mars, we have applied the direct simulation Monte Carlo method to solve the kinetic equation. We calculate the upward He, He+, and He2+ fluxes, resulting from energy spectra of the downgoing He2+ observed below 500 km altitude by the Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms 3 instrument onboard Mars Express. The particle flux of the downward moving He2+ ions was 1–2 × 106 cm–2 s–1, and the energy flux is equal to 9–10 × 10–3 erg cm–2 s–1. The calculations of the upward flux have been made for the Martian atmosphere during solar minimum. It was found, that if the induced magnetic field is not introduced in the simulations the precipitating He2+ ions are not backscattered at all by the Martian upper atmosphere. If we include a 20 nT horizontal magnetic field, a typical field measured by Mars Global Surveyor in the altitude range of 85–500 km, we find that up to 30%–40% of the energy flux of the precipitating He2+ ions is backscattered depending on the velocity distribution of the precipitating particles. We thus conclude that the induced magnetic field plays a crucial role in the transport of charged particles in the upper atmosphere of Mars and, therefore, that it determines the energy deposition of the solar wind.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 118, no 3, 1231-1242 p.
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Space Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-10450DOI: 10.1002/jgra.50184Local ID: 94185688-823d-4f47-946f-10b2aa3187f9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-10450DiVA: diva2:983395
Note
Validerad; 2013; 20130318 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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