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An Improved Technique for Measuring Plasma Density to High Frequencies on the Parker Solar Probe

AuthorMozer, F.~S.; Bale, S.~D.; Kellogg, P.~J.; Larson, D.; Livi, R.; Romeo, O.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; 1534; 1476; Physics - Space Physics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
AbstractThe correlation between the plasma density measured in space and the surface potential of an electrically conducting satellite body with biased electric field detectors has been recognized and used to provide density proxies. However, for Parker Solar Probe, this correlation has not produced quantitative density estimates over extended periods of time because it depends on the energy-dependent exponential variation of the photoemission spectrum, the electron temperature, the ratio of the biased surface area to the conducting spacecraft surface area, the spacecraft secondary or thermal emission, the spacecraft distance from the Sun, etc. In this paper the density as a function of time and frequency to frequencies as high as the electron gyrofrequency is determined through least-squares fits of a function of the spacecraft potential to the plasma density measured on the Parker Solar Probe. This function allows correction for the many effects on the spacecraft potential other than that due to the plasma density. Some examples of plasma density obtained from this procedure are presented.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages220
Date Publishedfeb