SM44A-06: Simulating the Magnetosheath in X-rays
Kip D Kuntz
Thursday, 15 December 2016 17:00 – 17:12
Moscone West – 2003
Over the last decade, interest has focussed on imaging the magnetosheath using the soft X-ray emission due to solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) with the Earth’s exosphere. We have developed the capability to simulate observations of the SWCX from the magnetosheath in order to evaluate instrument designs, orbital parameters, and mission profiles. Our method begins with a magneto-hydrodynamic model of the magnetosheath (np, vp, and Tp) and a model of neutral distribution (nn). We scale the Q = ∫npnnvrel dl by the production factor Ϛ determined by Kuntz et al in order to determine the X-ray emissivity along the line of sight. This emissivity is further scaled to the band-pass of interest using the model spectra of Koutroumpa et al or Foster et al. We then apply an instrumental response and add suitable noise to simulate what an instrument would observe. These images can then be processed with standard imaging tools/techniques to determine how well the desired scientific quantities can be derived.
Here we concentrate on three successively interesting questions. 1) Under what solar wind conditions is the emission from the magnetosheath sufficiently strong to separate it from the soft X-ray background? 2) For what observing geometries can one measure the location of the magnetopause and the bowshock? 3) At what cadence can one observe the motion of the magnetopause at a useful spatial resolution? These latter two questions have required the development of an algorithm to locate the magnetopause and bowshock within the images, which we describe. We demonstrate the capability of several projected and proposed missions.