University of Oulu

Solar wind : detection methods and long-term fluctuations

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Author: Vilppola, Jari Heikki1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : University of Oulu, 2003
Publish Date: 2003-11-22
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with permission of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on 22 November, 2003, at 12 o`clock noon.


The Cassini/Huygens mission is a collaborative mission of NASA and ESA to study the Saturnian system. Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS)is one of the scientific investigations onboard the Cassini orbiter. It consists of three separate spectrometers: Electron Spectrometer (ELS), Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) and Ion Beam Spectrometer (IBS). The University of Oulu has a co-investigator status in the CAPS project, and been mainly involved in simulating the structure and scientific performance of the IBS instrument. IBS is a high resolution hemispherical electrostatic analyser aimed to study the solar wind ions. This thesis contains an Introduction and five original papers. Papers I–III contain a detailed description of the simulation process of the IBS instrument and related results. In Paper I the manufacturing tolerances were calculated in order to verify that the high resolution requirements can be achieved using available manufacturing processes. In Paper II the simulations have been further developed and the instrument properties have been studied in more detail. In Paper III the simulation model is used to help the analysis and interpretation of the laboratory calibrations of the IBS flight model. Papers IV and V study the long-term fluctuations in solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field in the period range of 1–2 years (so called mid-term quasi periodicities, MTQP), using the wavelet transformation method to produce dynamic power spectra. In paper IV the MTQP structure in solar wind speed at 1 AU was studied using the longest available series of geomagnetic activity. It was shown that the long-term occurrence MTQP fluctuations roughly follows the long-term solar activity, suggesting that MTQP fluctuations are closely connected with the solar dynamo activity. Moreover, it was also noted that MTQP activity may offer a possibility for a precursory signal which could be used to predict significant changes in long-term solar activity. While Paper IV presents the temporally longest study of MTQP fluctuations, Paper V gives the spatially widest treatment of the same phenomenon. Paper V studies MTQP fluctuations in solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field measured by four probes in the outer heliosphere. It is shown that two MTQP fluctuations of different periods (1.3 and 1.7 years)co existed during solar cycle 22, while during solar cycle 21 only the 1.7-year band existed. This suggests that the solar dynamo acts differently during even and odd cycles. It is also shown that the two MTQP fluctuations during solar cycle 22 are organized latitudinally. While the 1.3-year periodicity originates from equatorial regions, the 1.7-year fluctuations arise at mid-latitudes.

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Osajulkaisut / Original papers

Osajulkaisut eivät sisälly väitöskirjan elektroniseen versioon. / Original papers are not included in the electronic version of the dissertation.

  1. Vilppola, J. H., Keisala, J. T., Tanskanen, P. J., & Huomo, H. (1993). Optimization of hemispherical electrostatic analyzer manufacturing with respect to resolution requirements. Review of Scientific Instruments, 64(8), 2190–2194.

  2. Vilppola, J. H., Tanskanen, P. J., Huomo, H., & Barraclough, B. L. (1996). Simulations of the response function of a plasma ion beam spectrometer for the Cassini mission to Saturn. Review of Scientific Instruments, 67(4), 1494–1501.

  3. Vilppola, J. H., Tanskanen, P. J., Barraclough, B. L., & McComas, D. J. (2001). Comparison between simulations and calibrations of a high resolution electrostatic analyzer. Review of Scientific Instruments, 72(9), 3662–3669.

  4. Mursula, K., Zieger, B., & Vilppola, J. H. (2003). Mid-term quasi-periodicities in geomagnetic activity during last 15 solar cycles: Connection to solar dynamo strength. Solar Physics, 212(1), 201–207.

  5. Mursula, K., & Vilppola, J. H. (2004). Fluctuations of the solar dynamo observed in the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field at 1 AU and in the outer heliosphere. Solar Physics, 221(2), 337–349.

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Series: Report series in physical sciences
ISSN: 1239-4327
ISSN-L: 1239-4327
ISBN: 951-42-7195-5
ISBN Print: 951-42-7194-7
Issue: 26
Type of Publication: G5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2003. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.