Analysis of spherical particle distributions observed on the WIND spacecraft

WIND is a NASA spacecraft built to observe the solar wind. Since many phenomena like auroras are related to the solar wind and it has also an influence on all the spectra measured on Earth, therefore it is important to explore its behaviour. On board the spacecraft the SST, EESA and PESA instruments measure the electron and ion flux of the solar wind. These data have been further investigated.

Access to existing data sets from the database of the WIND mission provided by University of Berkeley, USA, has been gained through some IDL library functions that have been specifically programmed for the purpose of preprocessing and presenting data.

A statistical analysis of the present data is conducted using mostly Mathematica. After examining the data for false measurements and general characteristic attributes, like minima, maxima, mean value and variance, more sophisticated statistical derivations have been computed for gaining the knowledge about the spherical statistical behaviour which is thought to be describable by the von Mises-Fisher distribution or similar functional distributions. Therefore the data were examined first for the mean direction which defines one major part of the simulating, theoretical distribution expectation. It was found out that in the main solar events can be modelled by distributions defined on a sphere and therefore missing or wrong data can be reconstructed.

Author: Nowak, Katharina

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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