Remote Sensing of the Reconnection Electric Field From In Situ Multipoint Observations of the Separatrix Boundary
A remote sensing technique to infer the local reconnection electric field based on in situ multipoint spacecraft observation at the reconnection separatrix is proposed. In this technique, the increment of the reconnected magnetic flux is estimated by integrating the in-plane magnetic field during the sequential observation of the separatrix boundary by multipoint measurements. We tested this technique by applying it to virtual observations in a two-dimensional fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulation of magnetic reconnection without a guide field and confirmed that the estimated reconnection electric field indeed agrees well with the exact value computed at the X-line. We then applied this technique to an event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission when crossing an energetic plasma sheet boundary layer during an intense substorm. The estimated reconnection electric field for this event is nearly 1 order of magnitude higher than a typical value of magnetotail reconnection.