A satellite and ground based study of fine structure in VLF whistlers.
The matched filtering technique for improving the spectral resolution of VLF whistlers, originally developed by Bhegin and Siredey (1964), has proven to be useful for extracting information about the magnetospheric plasma ducts along which a whistler has travelled. Ground based whistlers recorded at Sanae and Halley Bay, Antarctica, on day 149, 1985, show similarities in fine structure, namely a trace splitting at frequencies below 3.720 kHz. The travel time differences between the two traces below this frequency increase with decreasing frequency. It is shown that the path length of whistler energy is frequency dependant, and since electron gyrofrequency increases with decreasing altitude, the plasma density enhancement requirements for the wave to remain trapped in the duct increases with decreasing altitude. If this increasing enhancement is not present the wave will escape from the duct, the lower frequencies escaping first. It is proposed that the trace splitting observed in the fine structure analysis of these whistlers are the lower frequencies escaping from the topside and bottomside of the duct, and so travelling along two paths to the receiver having different path lengths and hence different travel times, The higher frequencies remain trapped in the duct, and therefore display only one trace. A satellite receiving system to receive the VLF data received by the Signal Analyser and Sampler (SAS) equipment aboard the ACTIVE satellite has been constructed at Durban. The design and construction is described in chapter 3. Due to the high noise environment no data has been collected to date in Durban. It is hoped that the receiving system can be moved further inland to a noise-free site for testing. This thesis is read with the "Whistler Analysis Software using Matched Filtering and Curve Fitting techniques - Users Reference Manual" written by the author to facilitate use of the matched filtering software.