Electron density measurements have been obtained by the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument for more than 50 passes through Saturn's inner magnetosphere from 30 June 2004 to 30 September 2007. The electron densities are derived from RPWS measurements of the upper hybrid resonance frequency and span latitudes up to 35° and L values from 3.6 to 10. The electron density measurements are combined with ion anisotropy measurements from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) and electron temperature measurements from the RPWS and CAPS to develop a diffusive equilibrium model for the distribution of water group ions, hydrogen ions, and electrons in the inner region of Saturn's magnetosphere. The model uses an analytical solution of the field-aligned force equation, including the ambipolar electric field, to determine the equatorial ion densities and scale heights as a function of L. Density contour plots for water group ions, hydrogen ions, and electrons are presented.
Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics)
- Pub Date:
- April 2009
- Magnetospheric Physics: Planetary magnetospheres (5443;
- Planetary Sciences: Fluid Planets: Magnetospheres (2756);
- Magnetospheric Physics: Magnetospheric configuration and dynamics;
- Planetary Sciences: Solar System Objects: Saturn