The Voltage Across the Polar Cap

Investigators at Rice University and University of Texas at Dallas analyzed 4 years of satellite flow data from the DMSP spacecraft to refine our understanding of the statistical relationship between conditions in the solar wind upstream of the Earth and the electrical potential drop imposed across the Earth's polar cap. They found the following statistical relationship [Boyle et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 111, 1997] which was used to make predictions in near-real time of the voltage drop across the polar cap shown to the left:

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