Ulysses Flyby in the Heliosphere: Comparison of the Solar Wind Model with Observational Data
A model capable of reproducing a set of solar wind parameters along the virtual spacecraft orbit out of an ecliptic plane has been developed. In the framework of a quasi-stationary axisymmetric self-consistent MHD model the spatial distributions of magnetic field and plasma characteristics at distances from 20 to 1200 Solar radii at almost all solar latitudes could be obtained and analyzed. This model takes into account the Sun’s magnetic field evolution during the solar cycle, when the dominant dipole magnetic field is replaced by the quadrupole one. Self-consistent solutions for solar wind characteristics were obtained, depending on the phase of the solar cycle. To verify the model, its results are compared with the observed characteristics of solar wind along the Ulysses trajectory during its flyby around the Sun from 1990 to 2009. It is shown that the results of numerical simulation are generally consistent with the observational data obtained by the Ulysses spacecraft. A comparison of the model and experimental data confirms that the model can adequately describe the solar wind parameters and can be used for heliospheric studies at different phases of the solar activity cycle, as well as in a wide range of latitudinal angles and distances to the Sun.