Author ORCID Identifier

Kristina Lynch:

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We extend traditional, single payload, interferometric techniques to a multiple payload sounding rocket mission, and apply these techniques to measure the parallel and perpendicular wavelength of auroral VLF hiss from 8 kHz–20 kHz. We model the wavelength distribution of auroral hiss as a cone at a fixed angle with respect to the magnetic field that is isotropically distributed in the perpendicular plane. We apply this model to calculate the interferometric observables, coherency and phase, for a sounding rocket mission whose wave electric field receivers are on payloads that are separated 2–3 km along the magnetic field and 55–200 m across the magnetic field. Using an interferometer formed by comparing the collinear sphere-to-skin electric field antennas on a single payload, we estimate a lower limit on the perpendicular wavelength of VLF hiss of ∼60 m. Analysis of coherency and phase due to this conical wave vector distribution for a multipayload interferometer reveals the existence of a spin dependent coherency pattern. From this coherency pattern we generate an upper limit perpendicular wavelength estimate for VLF hiss of ∼350 m. The inter-payload phase gives an accurate estimate of the parallel wavelength of ∼6000–8000 m. This parallel wavelength is combined with the lower (upper) limit perpendicular wavelength estimates to generate upper (lower) limits on wave-normal angle. These limits are each within one degree of the predicted electrostatic whistler wave resonance cone angle verifying that VLF hiss propagates on this resonance cone.



Original Citation

Lundberg, E. T., Kintner, P. M., Powell, S. P., and Lynch, K. A. (2012), Multipayload interferometric wave vector determination of auroral hiss, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A02306, doi:10.1029/2011JA017037.