TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 50 (No. 3), pp. 195-198, 1998

Planned observations of thermal plasma drifts and solar wind interactions in the Martian ionosphere

A. W. Yau1,2, G. P. Garbe1, M. J. Greffen1, W. Miyake3, and E. Sagawa4

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
3Communications Research Laboratory, Koganei, Tokyo 184, Japan
4Hiraiso Solar Terrestrial Research Center, CRL, Nakaminato, Japan

(Received August 1, 1997; Revised November 26, 1997; Accepted December 2, 1997)

Abstract: The structure and dynamics of the Martian ionosphere are believed to be strongly dependent on the nature, magnitude, and topology of its magnetic field, and whether or not Mars has an intrinsic magnetic field. Due to the weak magnetic field on Mars, the Martian ionosphere interacts directly with the solar wind, resulting in significant outflows of keV ion beams and lower-energy "pick-up" ions. We discuss the planned study of ion drifts and solar wind interactions in the Martian ionosphere using the Planet-B Thermal Plasma Analyzer.

Corresponding author E-mail: yau@space.phys.ucalgary.ca

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