Kinetic models

Kinetic models have been developed at BIRA-IASB (Pierrard, 2012 for a review) and are currently improved in the framework of the interuniversity project CHARM (Contemporary physical challenges for Heliospheric and AstRophysical Models).

They show how the velocity distribution functions and their moments are transformed with the radial distance. Exospheric models have shown the importance of suprathermal electrons in the acceleration processes of the solar wind. The exospheric model is provided on the Space Weather Portal.

Solar Wind Electron Density
Example of solar wind electron density in the equatorial plane obtained with the kinetic solar wind model (enlarge)


More sophisticated solar wind models analyze the effects of:

  • Coulomb collisions (Pierrard, Maksimovic and Lemaire, 2001)
  • whistler turbulence (Pierrard, Lazar and Schlickeiser, 2011)
  • Kinetic Alfven waves (Pierrard and Voitenko, 2010)


Link naar de website van het Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid
Link naar de Federale Portaalsite