Propagation and escape of astrophysical cyclotron-maser radiation

Speirs, David C. D.C. and Gillespie, K. M. K.M. and Ronald, Kevin K. and Mcconville, S. L. S.L. and Phelps, Alan D R A.D.R. and Cross, Adrian W. A.W. and Bingham, Robert J. R.J. and Kellett, Barry J. B.J. and Cairns, R. Alan R.A. and Vorgul, Irena Yu I.Y. (2013) Propagation and escape of astrophysical cyclotron-maser radiation. In: 2013 19th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), 2013-06-16 - 2013-06-21. (

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A multitude of astrophysical plasma environments exist where a combination of particle acceleration, convergent magnetic fields and a sufficiently large ratio of electron cyclotron frequency to plasma frequency are present to support electron cyclotron-maser emission [1-6]. The resultant radiation signatures typically comprise of well-defined spectral components (around the relativistic electron cyclotron frequency) with near 100% left or right handed circular polarization when viewed out-with the source region. Although the generation mechanism has been well documented [7-25], there are numerous potential hindrances to the propagation and escape of the radiation from the source region, including issues of geometry/mode conversion [26] and coupling onto the dispersion branch connecting with vacuum propagation [12]. In the current context we consider the results of numerical Particle-in-cell (PiC) simulations conducted at the University of Strathclyde to study the spatial growth rate and emission topology of the cyclotron-maser emission process. The results have significant bearing on the radiation propagation characteristics and highly debated question of propagation/escape, with particular relevance to the planetary/stellar auroral magnetospheric case.