The solar wind interaction with the Martian ionosphere: Extension of the Venus steady state Flow/Field model
Hurley, Dana Meredith
Cloutier, Paul A.
Master of Science
A model is constructed to describe the magnetic field, the global current system, the electric field and the potential in the solar wind interaction with Mars assuming that Mars has no intrinsic magnetic field. It, therefore, incorporates the physics learned from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter, which observed the interaction of Venus, an unmagnetized planet, with the solar wind for 14 years. Integrating recent knowledge of the global current system at Venus (Law 1995) into the Flow/Field model of Cloutier et al (1987) and expanding the model to represent three dimensions, we adapt the Flow/Field model for application to Mars. We investigate the 3-D current system to learn the physics of the interaction. Then, the model is applied to test simple geometries in order to validate it. Future applications are discussed.
Astronomy; Astrophysics; Plasma physics