We report multi-spacecraft observations of ULF waves from Van Allen Probes (RBSP), Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS), Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorm (THEMIS), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). On August 31, 2015, global-scale poloidal waves were observed in data from RBSP-B, GOES and THEMIS from L=4 to L=8 over a wide range of magnetic local time (MLT). The polarization states varied towards purely poloidal polarity. In two consecutive orbits over 18 hours, RBSP-A and RBSP-B recorded gradual variation of the polarization states of the poloidal waves; the ratio (|Ba|/|Br|) decreased from 0.82 to 0.13. After the variation of polarization states, the poloidal ULF waves became very purely poloidal waves, localized in both L and MLT. We identify the poloidal wave as second harmonic mode with a large azimuthal wave number (m) of –232. From RBSP particle measurements we find evidence that the high-m poloidal waves during the polarization variations were powered by inward radial gradients and bump-on-tail ion distributions through the N=1 drift-bounce resonance. Most of the time, the dominant free energy source was inward radial gradients, compared with the positive gradient in the energy distribution of the bump-on-tail ion distributions.
With conjunction observations of electromagnetic fields and plasma from Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorm (THEMIS) in the near-Earth magnetotail, we investigate the spatial and temporal properties of substorm dipolarizations in the near-Earth plasma sheet (NEPS) during a substorm at 03:23 UT on 12 February 2008. Substorm dipolarizations with different features are detected by three near-Earth THEMIS probes (THA (P5), THD (P3) and THE (P4)) in the magnetotail. In the current sheet with a large plasma beta value (β > 2, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure to the magnetic pressure), the dipolarization within the substorm onset region, (−10.4, 2.8, −2.6)RE_gsm, has a large initial magnetic field elevation angle, θ > 60°, θ = arctan (Bz/(Bx2+By2)1/2), and is accompanied by energetic ion (tens to hundred keV) dispersionless injection detected by THD (P3). This substorm onset dipolarization is characterized by Bx and By components around 0 nT with significant fluctuations. The Bz component increases sharply and its subsequent magnitude approaches the total magnetic field, Bt. The maximum value of the elevation angle approaches 85° during the later substorm expansion phase. In the NEPS with β ~ 1, the dipolarization outside the substorm onset region is characterized by a magnetic elevation angle with a small beginning value of θ < 45° and following multi-step enhancements during the substorm expansion phase. The maximum value of the elevation angle approaches to 70° during the later substorm expansion phase. Our observation results indicate that characteristics of dipolarization with a large beginning elevation angle within the substorm onset region provide a new indicator to identify substorm onset location.