Found 8 results
Filters: Author is Erickson, P. J.  [Clear All Filters]
Authors: Burke W. J., Erickson P. J., Yang J., Foster J., Wygant J, et al.
Title: O + Ion Conic and Plasma Sheet Dynamics Observed by Van Allen Probe Satellites during the 1 June 2013 Magnetic Storm
Abstract: The Van Allen Probe satellites were near apogee in the late evening local time sector during the 1 June 2013 magnetic storm's main phase. About an hour after crossing the ring current's “nose structure” into the plasma sheet, the satellites encountered a quasi-periodic sequence of 0.08 - 3 keV O+ ions. Pitch angle distributions of this population consistently peaked nearly anti-parallel to the local magnetic field. We interpret this population as O+ conics originating in the northern ionosphere. Sequences began as fairly steady state conic fluxes with energies in the ~ 80 to 100 eV range. Over about a half hour build-up phase, O+ energies peaked near 1 keV. During subsequent release phases lasting ~ 20 minutes, O+ energies returned to low-energy starting points. We argu. . .
Date: 05/2016 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021795 Available at:
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Authors: Foster J. C., Erickson P. J., Baker D N, Jaynes A. N., Mishin E. V., et al.
Title: Observations of the impenetrable barrier, the plasmapause, and the VLF bubble during the 17 March 2015 storm
Abstract: Van Allen Probes observations during the 17 March 2015 major geomagnetic storm strongly suggest that VLF transmitter-induced waves play an important role in sculpting the earthward extent of outer zone MeV electrons. A magnetically confined bubble of very low frequency (VLF) wave emissions of terrestrial, human-produced origin surrounds the Earth. The outer limit of the VLF bubble closely matches the position of an apparent barrier to the inward extent of multi-MeV radiation belt electrons near 2.8 Earth radii. When the VLF transmitter signals extend beyond the eroded plasmapause, electron loss processes set up near the outer extent of the VLF bubble create an earthward limit to the region of local acceleration near L = 2.8 as MeV electrons are scattered into the atmospheric loss cone.
Date: 06/2016 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 5537 - 5548 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v121.610.1002/2016JA022509 Available at:
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Authors: Foster J. C., Erickson P. J., Omura Y., Baker D N, Kletzing C A, et al.
Title: Van Allen Probes Observations of Prompt MeV Radiation Belt Electron Acceleration in Non-Linear Interactions with VLF Chorus
Abstract: Prompt recovery of MeV electron populations in the post-storm core of the outer terrestrial radiation belt involves local acceleration of a seed population of energetic electrons in interactions with VLF chorus waves. Electron interactions during the generation of VLF rising tones are strongly non-linear, such that a fraction of the relativistic electrons at resonant energies are trapped by waves, leading to significant non-adiabatic energy exchange. Through detailed examination of VLF chorus and electron fluxes observed by Van Allen Probes, we investigate the efficiency of non-linear processes for acceleration of electrons to MeV energies. We find through subpacket analysis of chorus waveforms that electrons with initial energy 100s keV - 3 MeV can be accelerated by 50 keV - 200 keV in re. . .
Date: 12/2016 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023429 Available at:
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Authors: Foster J. C., Wygant J R, Hudson M K, Boyd A. J., Baker D N, et al.
Title: Shock-Induced Prompt Relativistic Electron Acceleration In the Inner Magnetosphere
Abstract: We present twin Van Allen Probes spacecraft observations of the effects of a solar wind shock impacting the magnetosphere on 8 October 2013. The event provides details both of the accelerating electric fields associated with the shock and the response of inner magnetosphere electron populations across a broad range of energies. During this period the two Van Allen Probes observed shock effects from the vantage point of the dayside magnetosphere at radial positions of L=3 and L=5, at the location where shock-induced acceleration of relativistic electrons occurs. The extended (~1 min) duration of the accelerating electric field across a broad extent of the dayside magnetosphere, coupled with energy dependent relativistic electron gradient drift velocities, selects a preferred range of energi. . .
Date: 01/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020642 Available at:
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Authors: Baker D N, Jaynes A. N., Li X, Henderson M G, Kanekal S G, et al.
Title: Gradual diffusion and punctuated phase space density enhancements of highly relativistic electrons: Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: The dual-spacecraft Van Allen Probes mission has provided a new window into mega electron volt (MeV) particle dynamics in the Earth's radiation belts. Observations (up to E ~10 MeV) show clearly the behavior of the outer electron radiation belt at different timescales: months-long periods of gradual inward radial diffusive transport and weak loss being punctuated by dramatic flux changes driven by strong solar wind transient events. We present analysis of multi-MeV electron flux and phase space density (PSD) changes during March 2013 in the context of the first year of Van Allen Probes operation. This March period demonstrates the classic signatures both of inward radial diffusive energization and abrupt localized acceleration deep within the outer Van Allen zone (L ~4.0 ± 0.5). Thi. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 1351 - 1358 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058942 Available at:
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Authors: Baker D N, Jaynes A. N., Hoxie V C, Thorne R M, Foster J. C., et al.
Title: An impenetrable barrier to ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts
Abstract: Early observations1, 2 indicated that the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts could be separated into an inner zone dominated by high-energy protons and an outer zone dominated by high-energy electrons. Subsequent studies3, 4 showed that electrons of moderate energy (less than about one megaelectronvolt) often populate both zones, with a deep ‘slot’ region largely devoid of particles between them. There is a region of dense cold plasma around the Earth known as the plasmasphere, the outer boundary of which is called the plasmapause. The two-belt radiation structure was explained as arising from strong electron interactions with plasmaspheric hiss just inside the plasmapause boundary5, with the inner edge of the outer radiation zone corresponding to the minimum plasmapause location6. Re. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Nature Pages: 531 - 534 DOI: 10.1038/nature13956 Available at:
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Authors: Foster J. C., Erickson P. J., Baker D N, Claudepierre S G, Kletzing C A, et al.
Title: Prompt energization of relativistic and highly relativistic electrons during a substorm interval: Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: On 17 March 2013, a large magnetic storm significantly depleted the multi-MeV radiation belt. We present multi-instrument observations from the Van Allen Probes spacecraft Radiation Belt Storm Probe A and Radiation Belt Storm Probe B at ~6 Re in the midnight sector magnetosphere and from ground-based ionospheric sensors during a substorm dipolarization followed by rapid reenergization of multi-MeV electrons. A 50% increase in magnetic field magnitude occurred simultaneously with dramatic increases in 100 keV electron fluxes and a 100 times increase in VLF wave intensity. The 100 keV electrons and intense VLF waves provide a seed population and energy source for subsequent radiation belt enhancements. Highly relativistic (>2 MeV) electron fluxes increased immediately at L* ~ 4.5. . .
Date: 01/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 20 - 25 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058438 Available at:
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Authors: Foster J. C., Erickson P. J., Coster A. J., Thaller S., Tao J., et al.
Title: Storm time observations of plasmasphere erosion flux in the magnetosphere and ionosphere
Abstract: Plasmasphere erosion carries cold dense plasma of ionospheric origin in a storm-enhanced density plume extending from dusk toward and through the noontime cusp and dayside magnetopause and back across polar latitudes in a polar tongue of ionization. We examine dusk sector (20 MLT) plasmasphere erosion during the 17 March 2013 storm (Dst ~ −130 nT) using simultaneous, magnetically aligned direct sunward ion flux observations at high altitude by Van Allen Probes RBSP-A (at ~3.0 Re) and at ionospheric heights (~840 km) by DMSP F-18. Plasma erosion occurs at both high and low altitudes where the subauroral polarization stream flow overlaps the outer plasmasphere. At ~20 UT, RBSP-A observed ~1.2E12 m−2 s−1 erosion flux, while DMSP F-18 observed ~2E13 m−2 s−1 sunward flux. We. . .
Date: 02/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 762 - 768 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059124 Available at:
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