How to deal with measurement errors and lacking data in nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field modelling?
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Strasse 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 May 2010
Context. The measured solar photospheric magnetic field vector is extrapolated into the solar corona under the assumption of a force-free plasma. In the generic case this problem is nonlinear.
Aims. We aim to improve an algorithm for computing the nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field. We are in particular interested to incorporate measurement errors and to handle lacking data in the boundary conditions.
Methods. We solve the nonlinear force-free field equations by minimizing a functional. Within this work we extend the functional by an additional term, which allows us to incorporate measurement errors and treat regions with lacking observational data. We test the new code with the help of a well known semi-analytic test case. We compare coronal magnetic field extrapolations from ideal boundary conditions and boundary conditions where the transversal magnetic field information is lacking or has a poor signal-to-noise ratio in weak field regions.
Results. For ideal boundary conditions the new code gives the same result as the old code. The advantage of the new approach, which includes an error matrix, is visible only for non-ideal boundary conditions. The force-free and solenoidal conditions are fulfilled significantly better and the solutions agrees somewhat better with the exact solution. The new approach also relaxes the boundary and allows a deviation from the boundary data in poor signal-to-noise ratio areas.
Conclusions. The incorporation of measurement errors in the updated extrapolation code significantly improves the quality of nonlinear force-free field extrapolation from imperfect boundary conditions.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: photosphere / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2010