Numerical simulation of unconstrained cyclotron resonant maser emission

David C Speirs , Karen Gillespie, Kevin Ronald, Sandra L McConville , Alan D R Phelps , Adrian W Cross , Robert Bingham, Barry J Kellett, Robert Cairns, Irena Vorgul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When a mainly rectilinear electron beam is subject to significant magnetic
compression, conservation of magnetic moment results in the formation of a horseshoe shaped velocity distribution. It has been shown that such a distribution is unstable to cyclotron emission and may be responsible for the generation of Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR) - an intense rf emission sourced at high altitudes in the terrestrial auroral magnetosphere. PiC
code simulations have been undertaken to investigate the dynamics of the cyclotron emission process in the absence of cavity boundaries with particular consideration of the spatial growth rate, spectral output and rf conversion efficiency. Computations reveal that a well-defined cyclotron emission process occurs albeit with a low spatial growth rate compared to waveguide bounded simulations. The rf output is near perpendicular to the electron beam with a slight backward-wave character reflected in the spectral output with a well defined peak at 2.68GHz, just below the relativistic electron cyclotron frequency. The corresponding rf conversion efficiency of 1.1% is comparable to waveguide bounded simulations and consistent with the predictions of kinetic theory that suggest efficient, spectrally well defined radiation emission can be obtained from an electron horseshoe distribution in the absence of radiation boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Physics: Conference Series. 15th International Congress on Plasma Physics (ICPP2010)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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