Date of Award

Spring 2010

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Marc Lessard


Pulsating aurora is a frequently occurring phenomenon generally believed to occur mainly in the aftermath of a substorm, resulting in widespread auroral luminosity corresponding to a significant transfer of power from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere. A handful of theories have been proposed to explain the associated precipitation mechanism, which have been shown to ineffectively explain certain aspects of pulsating aurora. Previous research into pulsating aurora has provided a wealth of observations, yet much remains unknown about this phenomenon and some previous observations are contradictory. The focus of this presentation is the analysis of ground- and space-based measurements of pulsating aurora (primarily THEMIS ASI array, Poker Flat ISR, and Rocket Observations of Pulsating Aurora) to provide information regarding the large-scale spatial and temporal evolution of pulsating aurora events and the relationship to substorms, to determine the altitude extent and precipitating electron distribution corresponding to pulsating aurora, and to understand commonly occurring features within pulsating aurora.