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Physics  2012 

How to optimize nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field extrapolations from SDO/HMI vector magnetograms?

DOI: 10.1007/s11207-012-9966-z

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Abstract:

The SDO/HMI instruments provide photospheric vector magnetograms with a high spatial and temporal resolution. Our intention is to model the coronal magnetic field above active regions with the help of a nonlinear force-free extrapolation code. Our code is based on an optimization principle and has been tested extensively with semi-analytic and numeric equilibria and been applied before to vector magnetograms from Hinode and ground based observations. Recently we implemented a new version which takes measurement errors in photospheric vector magnetograms into account. Photospheric field measurements are often due to measurement errors and finite nonmagnetic forces inconsistent as a boundary for a force-free field in the corona. In order to deal with these uncertainties, we developed two improvements: 1.) Preprocessing of the surface measurements in order to make them compatible with a force-free field 2.) The new code keeps a balance between the force-free constraint and deviation from the photospheric field measurements. Both methods contain free parameters, which have to be optimized for use with data from SDO/HMI. Within this work we describe the corresponding analysis method and evaluate the force-free equilibria by means of how well force-freeness and solenoidal conditions are fulfilled, the angle between magnetic field and electric current and by comparing projections of magnetic field lines with coronal images from SDO/AIA. We also compute the available free magnetic energy and discuss the potential influence of control parameters.

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