Saturn kilometric radiation as a monitor for the solar wind?

H. O. Rucker, M. Panchenko, K. C. Hansen, U. Taubenschuss, M. Y. Boudjada, W. S. Kurth, M. K. Dougherty, J. T. Steinberg, P. Zarka, P. H.M. Galopeau, D. J. McComas, C. H. Barrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Since the Voyager mission it is known that Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR) is strongly influenced by external forces, i.e., the solar wind and in particular the solar wind ram pressure. Recent studies using Cassini data essentially confirmed these findings for particular periods during the first Cassini orbit of Saturn. The data coverage of SKR by the Cassini/RPWS experiment for the period of six months prior to Saturn Orbit Insertion (July 1, 2004) is rather continuous, whereas there are gaps in the solar wind plasma data. The strong correlation of SKR with the solar wind may provide an indication on the variations of the solar wind plasma, specifically during the gap periods. These periods lacking solar wind data are substituted by Ulysses solar wind data which have been propagated over ∼4 AU, applying magnetohydrodynamic propagation models. Cross correlation studies showed that Ulysses solar wind data can be taken as a substitute for missing Cassini data. The use of SKR as monitor for solar wind variations is discussed. With the present set of observations the SKR proxy lacks significant reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Cassini RPWS
  • MHD model
  • SKR
  • Solar wind
  • Ulysses SWOOPS


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