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Paper: Probing Solar Wind Turbulence with the Jansky Very Large Array
Volume: 504, Coimbra Solar Physics Meeting: Ground-based Solar Observations in the Space Instrumentation Era
Page: 97
Authors: Kobelski, A.; Bastian, T. S.; Betti, S.
Abstract: The solar wind offers an extraordinary laboratory for studying MHD turbulence, turbulent dissipation, and heating. Radio propagation phenomena can be exploited as probes of the solar wind in regions that are generally inaccessible to in situ spacecraft measurements. Here, we have undertaken a study with the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to observe point-like sources drawn from the JVAS catalog, and 3 VLA calibrator sources, to trans-illuminate the outer corona/inner solar wind. In doing so, we will exploit angular broadening and refractive scintillation to deduce properties of the solar wind along ≈23 lines of sight within 7 solar radii of the Sun and a wide range of position angles. By fitting the complex visibilities using well-known techniques we can deduce or constrain a number of key parameters. In particular, we fit the visibilities to a function of the known source flux, displacement of the source due to refraction, source broadening due to an elliptical structure function, spectral slope of the turbulence, and the coherence scale. Of particular interest is α, the spectral slope of the turbulence which we probe at both small (km to 10s of km) and large (thousands of km) scales. This will help us determine the presence and evolution of an inner scale, measure the degree of anisotropy, and constrain the topology of the global coronal magnetic field. The inner scale is of particular interest for constraining current theories of turbulence dissipation and heating. Initial analysis show the visibilities vary notably on timescales of individual integrations (2 seconds) and that the source is not uniformly broadened. All sources appear to preferentially broaden perpendicular to the magnetic field, consistent with theories of kinetic Alfvén waves. This type of observation will also help to interpret data from the upcoming Solar Probe Plus and Solar Orbiter missions. A full set of results and analysis is forthcoming. More details on previous results can be found in Bastian (1999), which used the previous generation VLA.
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