New simulation code developed to study Earth’s magnetosphere

The Earth’s magnetosphere is a vast region that has a finite number of satellites moving through this realm. The code will be helpful in planning future space missions. 

May 4, 2020 12:27 IST
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Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code that will be capable of studying a wide spectrum of coherent electric field structures in Earth’s magnetosphere or in a near-earth plasma environment.

The code will be helpful in planning future space missions. The Earth’s magnetosphere is a vast region that has a finite number of satellites moving through this realm.

IIG is an autonomous institution that comes under the Department of Science & Technology.

Why it was important to develop a fluid simulation code?

It has been easy to understand the morphology of the plasma processes around the satellite. However, a vast blind arena is created when they leave the observational domain of one satellite to enter into another. The way the morphology of these processes changes over time and space can be deciphered only through the help of computer simulations.

How the scientists addressed this problem?

In order to tackle the problem, a generalized 1D fluid code was developed by the team. It modeled the coherent electric field structures space plasmas.

The scientists tested their codes for various kinds of wave phenomena that have been generating coherent electric field structures in near-Earth Plasma’s environment. The simulations took place in the high- performance computing system in IIG.

Result obtained through fluid simulation code:

The results were published in the Journal Physics of Plasma and were found to be in agreement with the spacecraft observations of coherent electric field structures.

Why this study was essential?

In universe, almost 99% matter is in the form of plasma. Earth’s magnetosphere too, contains this and the plasma processes have the capability to disrupt the working of the number of satellites that are in the orbit in the magnetospheric region.

Apart from the satellites, the understanding of this region is also essential to understand the cosmos in its entirety.

How the magnetosphere of the earth is created?

Sun is one of the major sources of plasma deposition in the space around the earth and forces some of its plasma towards the earth in the form of the solar wind. The wind with the varying speed between 300 to 1500 km/s, carries a solar magnetic field with it which is called Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF). The interaction between the earth’s magnetic field and IMF creates the magnetosphere of the earth.

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