3D dynamic model

A 3D dynamic model of the plasmasphere has been developed at BIRA-IASB in the framework of the FP7 SWIFF project. It provides the number density of the particles and the position of the plasmapause as a function of time (Pierrard and Stegen, 2008).

The model has been recently coupled to the ionosphere (Pierrard and Voiculescu, 2011).

Number density of the electrons in the plasmasphere in the equatorial and the meridian geomagnetic plane obtained with the 3D dynamic plasmaspheric model coupled to the ionosphere for the date of 9 June 2001.


The plasmaspheric model is available as nowcasting and forecasting on the Space Weather Portal

The user gives the date of the event as an input. The program retrieves the observed geomagnetic activity level index Kp and calculates the position of the plasmapause and the number density of the electron predicted by the model in the geomagnetic equatorial plane. The dynamics of the model is directly related to the convection electric field that depends on Kp. Animated simulations show the dynamical plasmasphere every half hour of the simulated day.

For more information, please contact Viviane Pierrard


Plasmapause formation

The mechanism of plasmapause formation based on interchange instability and a Kp-dependent magnetospheric electric field model, enables us to determine the position of the plasmapause as a function of Kp and local time.

On our plasmapause simulations page, we illustrate how this physical mechanism is able to account for the formation of shoulders like those observed by the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) imager onboard the IMAGE satellite.


Plasmaspheric Studies

Our plasmaspheric studies pages provide regularly updated information and web links on ongoing work on the plasmasphere made with the Whisper experiment onboard the Cluster spacecraft.

It also catalogues experimental results from other recent missions such as IMAGE, Polar and CRRES, as well as interdisciplinary or theoretical studies and numerical simulations related to the plasmasphere and plasmapause.


Link naar de website van het Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid
Link naar de Federale Portaalsite