The WHISPER Relaxation Sounder and the CLUSTER Active Archive
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The Waves of HIgh frequency and Sounder for Probing of Electron density by Relaxation (WHISPER) instrument is part of the Wave Experiment Consortium (WEC) of the CLUSTER mission. With the help of the long double sphere antennae of the Electric Field and Wave (EFW) instrument and the Digital Wave Processor (DWP), it delivers active (sounding) and natural (transmitter off) electric field spectra, respectively from 4 to 82 kHz, and from 2 to 80 kHz. These frequency ranges have been chosen to include the electron plasma frequency, which is closely related to the total electron density, in most of the regions encountered by the CLUSTER spacecraft. Presented here is an overview of the WHISPER data products available in the CLUSTER Active Archive (CAA). The instrument and its performance are first recalled. The way the WHISPER products are obtained is then described, with particular attention being paid to the density determination. Both sounding and natural measurements are commonly used in this process, which depends on the ambient plasma regime. This is illustrated using drawings similar to the Bryant plots commonly used in the CLUSTER master science plan. These give a clear overview of typical density values and the parts of the orbits where they are obtained. More information on the applied software or on the quality/reliability of the density determination can also be highlighted.
CitationTrotignon, J.G.; Décréau, P.M.E.; Rauch, L.; Vallières, X.; Rochel, A.; Kougblénou, S.; Lointier, G.; Facskó, G.; Canu, P.; Darrouzet, F.; Masson, A. (2010). The WHISPER Relaxation Sounder and the CLUSTER Active Archive. (Laakso, H., Ed.), The Cluster Active Archive, 185-208, Springer,