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Birotor dipole model for Saturn's inner magnetic field from CASSINI RPWS measurements and MAG data

Patrick H. M. Galopeau 1 
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : The radio and plasma wave science (RPWS) experiment on board the Cassini spacecraft, orbiting around Saturn since July 2004, revealed the presence of two distinct and variable rotation periods in the Saturnian kilometric radiation (SKR). These two periods were attributed to the northern and southern hemispheres respectively. The existence of a double period makes the study of the planetary magnetic field much more complicated and the building of a field model, based on the direct measurements of the MAG experiment from the magnetometers embarked on board Cassini, turns out to be uncertain. The first reason is the difficulty for defining a longitude system linked to the variable period, because the internal magnetic field measurements from MAG are not continuous. The second reason is the existence itself of two distinct periods which could imply the existence of a double rotation magnetic structure generated by Saturn's dynamo. However, the radio observations from the RPWS experiment allow a continuous and accurate follow-up of the rotation phase of the variable two periods, since the SKR emission is permanently observable and produced very close to the planetary surface. A wavelet transform analysis of the intensity of the SKR signal received at 290 kHz was performed in order to calculate the rotation phase of each Saturnian hemisphere. A dipole model was proposed for Saturn's inner magnetic field: this dipole presents the particularity to rotate around Saturn's axis at two different angular velocities; it is tilted and not centered. Then it is possible to fit the MAG data for each Cassini's revolution around the planet the periapsis of which is less than 5 Saturnian radii. This study suggests that Saturn's inner magnetic field is neither stationary nor fully axisymmetric. Such a result can be used as a boundary condition for modelling and constraining the planetary dynamo.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 4, 2016 - 6:36:24 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 14, 2022 - 9:09:31 AM



Patrick H. M. Galopeau. Birotor dipole model for Saturn's inner magnetic field from CASSINI RPWS measurements and MAG data. DPS 48 / EPSC 11 (Division for Planetary Sciences and the European Planetary Science Congress), Oct 2016, Pasadena, United States. ⟨insu-01392831⟩



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