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Title: Satellite drag effects due to uplifted oxygen neutrals during super magnetic storms
Authors: Lakhina, Gurbax S.
Tsurutani, Bruce T.
Keywords: Magnetic storms
Dayside super-fountain effect
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Nonlinear Processes Geophysics, 24, 745–750, doi: 10.5194/npg-24-745-2017
Abstract: During intense magnetic storms, prompt penetration electric fields (PPEFs) through E × B forces near the magnetic equator uplift the dayside ionosphere. This effect has been called the “dayside super-fountain effect”. Ionneutral drag forces between the upward moving O+ (oxygen ions) and oxygen neutrals will elevate the oxygen atoms to higher altitudes. This paper gives a linear calculation indicating how serious the effect may be during an 1859-type (Carrington) superstorm. It is concluded that the oxygen neutral densities produced at low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) satellite altitudes may be sufficiently high to present severe satellite drag. It is estimated that with a prompt penetrating electric field of ∼ 20 mV m−1 turned on for 20 min, the O atoms and O + ions are uplifted to 850 km where they produce about 40-times-greater satellite drag per unit mass than normal. Stronger electric fields will presumably lead to greater uplifted mass.
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