Journal Highlights

Particle-in-cell modeling of spacecraft-plasma interaction effects on double-probe electric field measurements

Editors’ Highlight—

The authors introduce a novel simulation technique applicable to the evaluation of electric field measurements from spacecraft, which is perturbed by the interaction between the plasma and spacecraft. They studied the wake environment near the Cluster satellite in three distinctive plasma conditions in the solar wind, the tail lobe, and just outside the plasmapause. Results of simulations agree well with in-situ observations, because the double-probe on the Cluster spacecraft has a unique shape that is different from a simple double-probe. Their simulation technique is helpful to understand not only the actual behavior of the double-probe but also the physics of the spacecraft-plasma interaction.