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Tests and Comparisons of Velocity Inversion Techniques  

Brian T. Welsch   Submitted: 2007-06-22 17:54

Recently, several methods that measure the velocity of magnetized plasma from time series of photospheric vector magnetograms have been developed. Velocity fields derived using such techniques can be used both to determine the fluxes of magnetic energy and helicity into the corona, which have important consequences for understanding solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and the solar dynamo, and to drive time-dependent numerical models of coronal magnetic fields. To date, these methods have not been rigorously tested against realistic, simulated data sets, in which the magnetic field evolution and velocities are known. Here, we present results of such tests, using several velocity inversion techniques applied to synthetic magnetogram data sets, generated from anelastic MHD simulations of the upper convection zone with the ANMHD code, in which the velocity field is fully known. Broadly speaking, the MEF, DAVE, FLCT, IM, and ILCT algorithms performed comparably in many categories. While DAVE estimated the magnitude and direction of velocities slightly more accurately than the other methods, MEF's estimates of the fluxes of magnetic energy and helicity were far more accurate than any other method's. Overall, therefore, the MEF algorithm performed best in tests using the ANMHD data set. We note that ANMHD data simulate fully relaxed convection in a high-beta plasma, and therefore do not realistically model photospheric evolution.

Authors: B. T. Welsch, W. P. Abbett, M. L. DeRosa, G. H. Fisher, M. K. Georgoulis, K. Kusano, D. W. Longcope, B. Ravindra, P. W. Schuck

Publication Status: Accepted by ApJ
Last Modified: 2007-07-20 22:45
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