Published in

Wiley, Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics, 2023

DOI: 10.1029/2023ja031427



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Reconstruction of polarization properties of whistler waves from two magnetic and two electric field components: Application to Parker Solar Probe measurements

Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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AbstractThe search‐coil magnetometer (SCM) aboard Parker Solar Probe (PSP) measures the 3 Hz to 1 MHz magnetic field fluctuations. During Encounter 1, the SCM operated as expected; however, in March 2019, technical issues limited subsequent encounters to two components for frequencies below 1 kHz. Detrimentally, most whistler waves are observed in the affected frequency band where established techniques cannot extract the wave polarization properties under these conditions. Fortunately, the Electric Field Instrument (EFI) aboard PSP measures two electric field components and covers the affected bandwidth. We propose a technique using the available electromagnetic fields to reconstruct the missing components by neglecting the electric field parallel to the background magnetic field. This technique is applicable with the assumptions of (i) low‐frequency whistlers in the plasma frame relative to the electron cyclotron frequency; (ii) a small propagation angle with respect to the background magnetic field; and (iii) a large wave phase speed relative to the cross‐field solar wind velocity. Critically, the method cannot be applied if the background magnetic field is aligned with the affected SCM coil. We have validated our method using burst mode measurements made before March 2019. The reconstruction conditions are satisfied for 80% of the burst mode whistlers detected during Encounter 1. We apply the method to determine the polarization of a whistler event observed after March 2019 during Encounter 2. Our novel method is an encouraging step toward analyzing whistler properties in affected encounters and improving our understanding of wave‐particle interactions in the young solar wind.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.