Radio frequency resonator structure and diagnostic measurements for a laboratory simulation of Auroral Kilometric Radiation

K. Ronald, David Speirs, S.L. McConville, A.D.R. Phelps, C.W. Robertson, C.G. Whyte, W. He, K.M. Gillespie, Robert Bingham

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Auroral Kilometric Radiation is emitted from regions of depleted plasma density in the Earth's polar magnetosphere. The radiation frequency is close to the local electron cyclotron frequency, polarized in the X-mode with an efficiency of ∼ 1%, with power up to 1 GW. Kinetic analysis of the instability in the descending auroral flux indicated that the phenomena scaled with the cyclotron frequency. Therefore, an experimental reproduction of the auroral geometry has been created scaled to laboratory dimensions by raising the radiation frequency to the microwave range. The experiment transports a 75-85 keV electron beam through a region of increasing magnetic flux density, with a mirror ratio of up to 30. The experiments measured the mode, spectrum, power, and conversion efficiency of the emitted radiation as a function of the mirror ratio in two resonance regimes, with frequencies of 4.42 and 11.7 GHz. The microwave diagnostics and measurements will be presented in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)056503
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • auroral kilometric radiation
  • radiation frequency
  • electron cyclotron frequency
  • magnetized plasmas

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