3D PiC code investigations of auroral kilometric radiation mechanisms

K. M. Gillespie, S. L. McConville, D. C. Speirs, K. Ronald, A. D R Phelps, R. Bingham, A. W. Cross, C. W. Robertson, C. G. Whyte, W. He, I. Vorgul, R. A. Cairns, B. J. Kellett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Downloads (Pure)


Efficient (∼1%) electron cyclotron radio emissions are known to originate in the X mode from regions of locally depleted plasma in the Earths polar magnetosphere. These emissions are commonly referred to as the Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR). AKR occurs naturally in these polar regions where electrons are accelerated by electric fields into the increasing planetary magnetic dipole. Here conservation of the magnetic moment converts axial to rotational momentum forming a horseshoe distribution in velocity phase space. This distribution is unstable to cyclotron emission with radiation emitted in the X-mode. Initial studies were conducted in the form of 2D PiC code simulations [1] and a scaled laboratory experiment that was constructed to reproduce the mechanism of AKR. As studies progressed, 3D PiC code simulations were conducted to enable complete investigation of the complex interaction dimensions. A maximum efficiency of 1.25% is predicted from these simulations in the same mode and frequency as measured in the experiment. This is also consistent with geophysical observations and the predictions of theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012051
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • auroral cyclotron maser
  • auroral kilometric radiation
  • auroral kilometric radiation mechanisms
  • electron cyclotron maser
  • cyclotron maser emission
  • cyclotron maser instability
  • cyclotron maser processes
  • cyclotron masers


Dive into the research topics of '3D PiC code investigations of auroral kilometric radiation mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this