Date of Award

Spring 1992

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Roger L Arnoldy


A mass-analyzing capped hemispherical electrostatic analyzer has been developed for the purpose of resolving the mass, energy, and pitch angle distributions of auroral ions. The instrument, the B-field Hemispherical Electrostatic Energy and Pitch Angle Spectrometer (BEEPS), is an extension of the HEEPS instrument, which uses a hemispherical analyzer and microchannel plates to measure the angular and energy distribution of ions. BEEPS uses a toroidal magnetic field constructed from rare-earth permanent magnets to separate ion measurements into two groups, protons and heavier ions. BEEPS was flown in February, 1991, from Poker Flat, Alaska, on the TOPAZ3 sounding rocket.

This sounding rocket mission carried a full array of particle and field instrumentation to an altitude of over 1000 km. Electron data from the flight are presented and discussed in detail, and are shown in light of both ion and wave data taken during the same flight. Correspondences between the various data sets are presented. Particular note is made of the observation that ion heating seems to correspond with a field-aligned plateau in the electron distribution function below the peak electron energy. The growth rate of the n = $-$1 anomalous Doppler resonance of medium energy electrons with lower hybrid waves is discussed, and proposed as a mechanism for converting energy from the auroral electrons, the driver of the auroral activity, to the ion heating events.