Classification of Cassini’s Orbit Regions as Magnetosphere, Magnetosheath, and Solar Wind via Machine Learning

Kiley L. Yeakel*, Jon D. Vandegriff, Tadhg M. Garton, Caitriona M. Jackman, George Clark, Sarah K. Vines, Andrew W. Smith, Peter Kollmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Several machine learning algorithms and feature subsets from a variety of particle and magnetic field instruments on-board the Cassini spacecraft were explored for their utility in classifying orbit segments as magnetosphere, magnetosheath or solar wind. Using a list of manually detected magnetopause and bow shock crossings from mission scientists, random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), logistic regression (LR) and recurrent neural network long short-term memory (RNN LSTM) classification algorithms were trained and tested. A detailed error analysis revealed a RNN LSTM model provided the best overall performance with a 93.1% accuracy on the unseen test set and MCC score of 0.88 when utilizing 60 min of magnetometer data (|B|, Bθ, Bϕ and BR) to predict the region at the final time step. RF models using a combination of magnetometer and particle data, spanning H+, He+, He++ and electrons at a single time step, provided a nearly equivalent performance with a test set accuracy of 91.4% and MCC score of 0.84. Derived boundary crossings from each model’s region predictions revealed that the RNN model was able to successfully detect 82.1% of labeled magnetopause crossings and 91.2% of labeled bow shock crossings, while the RF model using magnetometer and particle data detected 82.4 and 74.3%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number875985
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


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