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Authors: Baker Daniel N., and Lanzerotti Louis
Title: Where Are the "Killer Electrons" of the Declining Phase of Solar Cycle 23
Abstract: “Killer electrons,” enhanced fluxes of radiation belt electrons in the magnetosphere–especially those at geosynchronous orbit (GEO)–were an important space weather phenomenon during the decline to minimum of the last 11-year solar cycle (1993–1995). Indeed, the fluxes of these electrons were reported at the time to have significantly influenced the incidence of anomalies on numerous spacecraft, both commercial and national defense. The incidences of spacecraft anomalies and the “pumping up” of the GEO electron fluxes gave rise to the picture that solar minimum did not provide a benign environment for space-based technologies as had been assumed by many. The decline to minimum of this current (23th) solar cycle has as yet to produce the same number of reported spacecra. . .
Date: 07/2006 Publisher: Space Weather DOI: 10.1029/2006SW000259 Available at:
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Authors: Ukhorskiy Aleksandr Y., Mauk Barry H., Fox Nicola J., Sibeck David G., and Grebowsky Joseph M.
Title: Radiation belt storm probes: Resolving fundamental physics with practical consequences
Abstract: The fundamental processes that energize, transport, and cause the loss of charged particles operate throughout the universe at locations as diverse as magnetized planets, the solar wind, our Sun, and other stars. The same processes operate within our immediate environment, the Earth's radiation belts. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission will provide coordinated two-spacecraft observations to obtain understanding of these fundamental processes controlling the dynamic variability of the near-Earth radiation environment. In this paper we discuss some of the profound mysteries of the radiation belt physics that will be addressed by RBSP and briefly describe the mission and its goals.
Date: 07/2011 Publisher: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Pages: 1417 - 1424 DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2010.12.005 Available at:
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Authors: Millan R.M.
Title: Understanding relativistic electron losses with BARREL
Abstract: The primary scientific objective of the Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) is to understand the processes responsible for scattering relativistic electrons into Earth's atmosphere. BARREL is the first Living with a Star Geospace Mission of Opportunity, and will consist of two Antarctic balloon campaigns conducted in the 2012 and 2013 Austral summer seasons. During each campaign, a total of 20 small View the MathML source(∼20kg) balloon payloads will be launched, providing multi-point measurements of electron precipitation in conjunction with in situ measurements from the two RBSP spacecraft, scheduled to launch in May 2012. In this paper we outline the scientific objectives of BARREL, highlighting a few key science questions that will be addressed by BARREL in c. . .
Date: 07/2011 Publisher: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Pages: 1425 - 1434 DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.01.006 Available at:
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Authors: Brito T, Woodger L, Hudson M K, and MILLAN R
Title: Energetic radiation belt electron precipitation showing ULF modulation
Abstract: 1] The energization and loss processes for energetic radiation belt electrons are not yet well understood. Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) waves have been correlated with both enhancement in outer zone radiation belt electron flux and modulation of precipitation loss to the atmosphere. This study considers the effects of ULF waves in the Pc-4 to Pc-5 period range (45 s–600 s) on electron loss to the atmosphere on a time scale of several minutes. Global simulations using magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model fields as drivers provide a valuable tool for studying the dynamics of these ∼MeV energetic particles. ACE satellite measurements of the MHD solar wind parameters are used as the upstream boundary condition for the Lyon-Fedder-Mobarry (LFM) 3D MHD code calculation of fields, used to drive elec. . .
Date: 11/2012 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 28 DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053790 Available at:
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Authors: Hudson M K, Brito Thiago, Elkington Scot, Kress Brian, Li Zhao, et al.
Title: Radiation belt 2D and 3D simulations for CIR-driven storms during Carrington Rotation 2068
Abstract: As part of the International Heliospheric Year, the Whole Heliosphere Interval, Carrington Rotation 2068, from March 20 to April 16, 2008 was chosen as an internationally coordinated observing and modeling campaign. A pair of solar wind structures identified as Corotating Interaction Regions (CIR), characteristic of the declining phase of the solar cycle and solar minimum, was identified in solar wind plasma measurements from the ACE satellite. Such structures have previously been determined to be geoeffective in producing enhanced outer zone radiation belt electron fluxes, on average greater than at solar maximum. MHD fields from the Coupled Magnetosphere–Ionosphere–Thermosphere (CMIT) model driven by ACE solar wind measurements at L1 have been used to drive both 2D and 3D weighted te. . .
Date: 07/2012 Publisher: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Pages: 51 - 62 DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.03.017 Available at:
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Authors: Mauk B H
Title: Analysis of EMIC-wave-moderated flux limitation of measured energetic ion spectra in multispecies magnetospheric plasmas
Abstract: A differential Kennel-Petschek (KP) flux limit for magnetospheric energetic ions is devised taking into account multiple ion species effects on electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves that scatter the ions. The idea is that EMIC waves may limit the highest ion intensities during acceleration phases of storms and substorms (~ hour) while other mechanisms (e.g., charge exchange) may account for losses below those limits and over longer periods of time. This approach is applied to published Earth magnetosphere energetic ion spectra (~ keV to ~1 MeV) for radial positions (L) 3 to 6.7 RE. The flatness of the most intense spectral shapes for <100 keV indicate sculpting by just such a mechanism, but modifications of traditional KP parameters are needed to account for maximum fluxes up to 5. . .
Date: 08/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 3804 - 3808 DOI: 10.1002/grl.50789 Available at:
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Authors: Shprits Yuri, Kellerman Adam, Kondrashov Dmitri, and Subbotin Dmitriy
Title: Application of a new data operator-splitting data assimilation technique to the 3-D VERB diffusion code and CRRES measurements
Abstract: In this study we present 3-D data assimilation using CRRES data and 3-D Versatile Electron Radiation Belt Model (VERB) using a newly developed operator-splitting method. Simulations with synthetic data show that the operator-splitting Kalman filtering technique proposed in this study can successfully reconstruct the underlying dynamic evolution of the radiation belts. The method is further verified by the comparison with the conventional Kalman filter. We applied the new approach to 3-D data assimilation of real data to globally reconstruct the dynamics of the radiation belts using pitch angle, energy, and L shell dependent CRRES observations. An L shell time cross section of the global data assimilation results for nearly equatorially mirroring particles and high and low values of the fir. . .
Date: 10/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 4998 - 5002 DOI: 10.1002/grl.50969 Available at:
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Authors: Rodger Craig J., Kavanagh Andrew J., Clilverd Mark A., and Marple Steve R.
Title: Comparison between POES energetic electron precipitation observations and riometer absorptions: Implications for determining true precipitation fluxes
Abstract: Energetic electron precipitation (EEP) impacts the chemistry of the middle atmosphere with growing evidence of coupling to surface temperatures at high latitudes. To better understand this link, it is essential to have realistic observations to properly characterize precipitation and which can be incorporated into chemistry-climate models. The Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) detectors measure precipitating particles but only integral fluxes and only in a fraction of the bounce loss cone. Ground-based riometers respond to precipitation from the whole bounce loss cone; they measure the cosmic radio noise absorption (CNA), a qualitative proxy with scant direct information on the energy flux of EEP. POES observations should have a direct relationship with ΔCNA and co. . .
Date: 12/2013 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7810 - 7821 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019439 Available at:
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Authors: Whittaker Ian C., Gamble Rory J., Rodger Craig J., Clilverd Mark A., and Sauvaud é
Title: Determining the spectra of radiation belt electron losses: Fitting DEMETER electron flux observations for typical and storm times
Abstract: The energy spectra of energetic electron precipitation from the radiation belts are studied in order to improve our understanding of the influence of radiation belt processes. The Detection of Electromagnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions (DEMETER) microsatellite electron flux instrument is comparatively unusual in that it has very high energy resolution (128 channels with 17.9 keV widths in normal survey mode), which lends itself to this type of spectral analysis. Here electron spectra from DEMETER have been analyzed from all six years of its operation, and three fit types (power law, exponential, and kappa-type) have been applied to the precipitating flux observations. We show that the power law fit consistently provides the best representation of the flux and that the ka. . .
Date: 12/2013 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7611 - 7623 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019228 Available at:
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Authors: Schultz Colin
Title: Dynamics of the Earth's Radiation Belts and Inner Magnetosphere
Abstract: Trapped by Earth's magnetic field far above the planet's surface, the energetic particles that fill the radiation belts are a sign of the Sun's influence and a threat to our technological future. In the AGU monograph Dynamics of the Earth's Radiation Belts and Inner Magnetosphere, editors Danny Summers, Ian R. Mann, Daniel N. Baker, and Michael Schulz explore the inner workings of the magnetosphere. The book reviews current knowledge of the magnetosphere and recent research results and sets the stage for the work currently being done by NASA's Van Allen Probes (formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes). In this interview, Eos talks to Summers about magnetospheric research, whistler mode waves, solar storms, and the effects of the radiation belts on Earth.
Date: 12/2013 Publisher: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union Pages: 509 - 509 DOI: 10.1002/eost.v94.5210.1002/2013EO520007 Available at:
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Authors: Blum L. W., Schiller Q., Li X, Millan R., Halford A., et al.
Title: New conjunctive CubeSat and balloon measurements to quantify rapid energetic electron precipitation
Abstract: Relativistic electron precipitation into the atmosphere can contribute significant losses to the outer radiation belt. In particular, rapid narrow precipitation features termed precipitation bands have been hypothesized to be an integral contributor to relativistic electron precipitation loss, but quantification of their net effect is still needed. Here we investigate precipitation bands as measured at low earth orbit by the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) CubeSat. Two precipitation bands of MeV electrons were observed on 18–19 January 2013, concurrent with precipitation seen by the 2013 Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) campaign. The newly available conjugate measurements allow for a detailed estimate of the temporal and spatial fea. . .
Date: 11/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 5833 - 5837 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058546 Available at:
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Authors: Artemyev A. V., Agapitov O. V., Mourenas D., Krasnoselskikh V., and Zelenyi L. M.
Title: Storm-induced energization of radiation belt electrons: Effect of wave obliquity
Abstract: New Cluster statistics allow us to determine for the first time the variations of both the obliquity and intensity of lower-band chorus waves as functions of latitude and geomagnetic activity near L∼5. The portion of wave power in very oblique waves decreases during highly disturbed periods, consistent with increased Landau damping by inward-penetrating suprathermal electrons. Simple analytical considerations as well as full numerical calculations of quasi-linear diffusion rates demonstrate that early-time electron acceleration occurs in a regime of loss-limited energization. In this regime, the average wave obliquity plays a critical role in mitigating lifetime reduction as wave intensity increases with geomagnetic activity, suggesting that much larger energization levels should be reac. . .
Date: 08/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 4138 - 4143 DOI: 10.1002/grl.50837 Available at:
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Authors: Turner D. L., Angelopoulos V, Morley S. K., Henderson M G, Reeves G D, et al.
Title: On the cause and extent of outer radiation belt losses during the 30 September 2012 dropout event
Abstract: On 30 September 2012, a flux “dropout” occurred throughout Earth's outer electron radiation belt during the main phase of a strong geomagnetic storm. Using eight spacecraft from NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) and Van Allen Probes missions and NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites constellation, we examined the full extent and timescales of the dropout based on particle energy, equatorial pitch angle, radial distance, and species. We calculated phase space densities of relativistic electrons, in adiabatic invariant coordinates, which revealed that loss processes during the dropout were > 90% effective throughout the majority of the outer belt and the plasmapause played a key role in limiting the spatial extent . . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 1530 - 1540 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019446 Available at:
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Authors: Kellerman A. C., Shprits Y Y, Makarevich R. A., Spanswick E., Donovan E., et al.
Title: Characterization of the energy-dependent response of riometer absorption
Abstract: Ground based riometers provide an inexpensive means to continuously remote sense the precipitation of electrons in the dynamic auroral region of Earth's ionosphere. The energy-dependent relationship between riometer absorption and precipitating electrons is thus of great importance for understanding the loss of electrons from the Earth's magnetosphere. In this study, statistical and event-based analyses are applied to determine the energy of electrons to which riometers chiefly respond. Time-lagged correlation analysis of trapped to precipitating fluxes shows that daily averaged absorption best correlates with ~ 60 keV trapped electron flux at zero-time lag, although large variability is observed across different phases of the solar cycle. High-time resolution statistical cross-correlati. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020027 Available at:
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Authors: Lui A. T. Y., Mitchell D G, and Lanzerotti L J
Title: Comparison of Energetic Electron Intensities Outside and Inside the Radiation Belts
Abstract: The intensities of energetic electrons (~25 – 800 keV) outside and inside Earth's radiation belts are reported using measurements from THEMIS and Van Allen Probes during non-geomagnetic storm periods. Three intervals of current disruption/dipolarization events in August, 2013 were selected for comparison. The following results are obtained. (1) Phase space densities (PSDs) for the equatorially mirroring electron population at three values of the first adiabatic invariant (20, 70, and 200 MeV/G) at the outer radiation belt boundary are found to be one to three orders of magnitude higher than values measured just inside the radiation belt. (2) There is indication that substorm activity leads to PSD increases inside L = 5.5 in less than 1 hr. (3) Evidence for progressive inward tr. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020049 Available at:
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Authors: Whittaker Ian C., Rodger Craig J., Clilverd Mark A., and Sauvaud é
Title: The effects and correction of the geometric factor for the POES/MEPED electron flux instrument using a multisatellite comparison
Abstract: Measurements from the Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES) Medium Energy Proton and Electron Detector (MEPED) instrument are widely used in studies into radiation belt dynamics and atmospheric coupling. However, this instrument has been shown to have a complex energy-dependent response to incident particle fluxes, with the additional possibility of low-energy protons contaminating the electron fluxes. We test the recent Monte Carlo theoretical simulation of the instrument by comparing the responses against observations from an independent experimental data set. Our study examines the reported geometric factors for the MEPED electron flux instrument against the high-energy resolution Instrument for Detecting Particles (IDPs) on the Detection of Electromagnetic Emissions Transmitted. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 6386 - 6404 DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020021 Available at:
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Authors: Sarris T. E.
Title: Estimates of the power per mode number of broadband ULF waves at geosynchronous orbit
Abstract: In studies of radial diffusion processes in the magnetosphere it is well known that ultralow frequency (ULF) waves of frequency mωd can resonantly interact with particles of drift frequency ωd, where m is the waves' azimuthal mode number. Due to difficulties in estimating m, an oversimplifying assumption is often made in simulations, namely that all ULF wave power is located at a single mode number. In this paper a technique is presented for extracting information on the distribution of ULF power in a range of azimuthal mode numbers. As a first step, the cross power and phase differences between time series from azimuthally aligned magnetometers are calculated. Subsequently, through integrating the ULF power at particular ranges of phase differences that correspond to particular mode num. . .
Date: 07/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 5539 - 5550 DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019238 Available at:
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Authors: Jaynes A. N., Li X, Schiller Q. G., Blum L. W., Tu W., et al.
Title: Evolution of relativistic outer belt electrons during an extended quiescent period
Abstract: To effectively study steady loss due to hiss-driven precipitation of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt, it is useful to isolate this loss by studying a time of relatively quiet geomagnetic activity. We present a case of initial enhancement and slow, steady decay of 700 keV - 2 MeV electron populations in the outer radiation belt during an extended quiescent period from ~15 December 2012 - 13 January 2013. We incorporate particle measurements from a constellation of satellites, including the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) CubeSat, the Van Allen Probes twin spacecraft, and THEMIS, to understand the evolution of the electron populations across pitch angle and energy. Additional data from calculated phase space density (PSD), as well as hiss and chorus w. . .
Date: 12/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020125 Available at:
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Authors: Zanetti L. J., Mauk B H, Fox N.J., Barnes R.J., Weiss M, et al.
Title: The Evolving Space Weather System - Van Allen Probes Contribution
Abstract: The overarching goal and purpose of the study of space weather is clear - to understand and address the issues caused by solar disturbances on humans and technological systems. Space weather has evolved in the past few decades from a collection of concerned agencies and researchers to a critical function of the National Weather Service of NOAA. The general effects have also evolved from the well-known telegraph disruptions of the mid-1800’s to modern day disturbances of the electric power grid, communications and navigation, human spaceflight and spacecraft systems. The last two items in this list, and specifically the effects of penetrating radiation, were the impetus for the space weather broadcast implemented on NASA’s Van Allen Probes’ twin pair of satellites, launched in August . . .
Date: 10/2014 Publisher: Space Weather DOI: 10.1002/2014SW001108 Available at:
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Authors: Artemyev A. V., Vasiliev A. A., Mourenas D., Agapitov O. V., Krasnoselskikh V., et al.
Title: Fast transport of resonant electrons in phase space due to nonlinear trapping by whistler waves
Abstract: We present an analytical, simplified formulation accounting for the fast transport of relativistic electrons in phase space due to wave-particle resonant interactions in the inhomogeneous magnetic field of Earth's radiation belts. We show that the usual description of the evolution of the particle velocity distribution based on the Fokker-Planck equation can be modified to incorporate nonlinear processes of wave-particle interaction, including particle trapping. Such a modification consists in one additional operator describing fast particle jumps in phase space. The proposed, general approach is used to describe the acceleration of relativistic electrons by oblique whistler waves in the radiation belts. We demonstrate that for a wave power distribution with a hard enough power law tail in. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 5727 - 5733 DOI: 10.1002/grl.v41.1610.1002/2014GL061380 Available at:
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Authors: Shiokawa Kazuo, Yokoyama Yu, Ieda Akimasa, Miyoshi Yoshizumi, Nomura Reiko, et al.
Title: Ground-based ELF/VLF chorus observations at subauroral latitudes-VLF-CHAIN Campaign
Abstract: We report observations of very low frequency (VLF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) chorus waves taken during the ELF/VLF Campaign observation with High-resolution Aurora Imaging Network (VLF-CHAIN) of 17–25 February 2012 at subauroral latitudes at Athabasca (L=4.3), Canada. ELF/VLF waves were measured continuously with a sampling rate of 100 kHz to monitor daily variations in ELF/VLF emissions and derive their detailed structures. We found quasiperiodic (QP) emissions whose repetition period changes rapidly within a period of 1 h without corresponding magnetic pulsations. QP emissions showed positive correlation between amplitude and frequency sweep rate, similarly to rising-tone elements. We found an event of nearly simultaneous enhancements of QP emissions and Pc1/electromagnetic ion. . .
Date: 09/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7363 - 7379 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.910.1002/2014JA020161 Available at:
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Authors: Summers Danny, and Shi Run
Title: Limiting energy spectrum of an electron radiation belt
Abstract: To determine the Kennel-Petschek limiting particle flux in a planetary radiation belt in a fully relativistic regime, without assuming a predetermined form for the particle energy distribution, has been a long-standing challenge in space physics. In this paper, for the case of whistler mode wave-electron interaction, we meet this challenge. The limiting flux is determined by a steady state marginal stability criterion in which a convective wave gain condition is applied over all frequencies for which wave growth occurs. This condition produces an integral equation for the trapped flux. We find that in the relativistic regime the limiting electron energy spectrum varies asymptotically as 1/E, for large energy E, just as in the nonrelativistic case. However, the scaling coefficient in the re. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 6313 - 6326 DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020250 Available at:
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Authors: Degeling A W, Rankin R, and Zong Q.-G.
Title: Modeling radiation belt electron acceleration by ULF fast mode waves, launched by solar wind dynamic pressure fluctuations
Abstract: We investigate the magnetospheric MHD and energetic electron response to a Storm Sudden Commencement (SSC) and subsequent magnetopause buffeting, focusing on an interval following an SSC event on 25 November 2001. We find that the electron flux signatures observed by LANL, Cluster, and GOES spacecraft during this event can largely be reproduced using an advective kinetic model for electron phase space density, using externally prescribed electromagnetic field inputs, (herein described as a “test-kinetic model”) with electromagnetic field inputs provided by a 2-D linear ideal MHD model for ULF waves. In particular, we find modulations in electron flux phase shifted by 90° from the local azimuthal ULF wave electric field (Eφ) and a net enhancement in electron flux after 1.5 h for energ. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019672 Available at:
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Authors: Brito Thiago V.
Title: Precipitation and energization of relativistic radiation belt electrons induced by ULF oscillations in the magnetosphere
Abstract: There is a renewed interest in the study of the radiation belts with the recent launch of the Van Allen Probes satellites. The mechanisms that drive the global response of the radiation belts to geomagnetic storms are not yet well understood. Global simulations using magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model fields as drivers provide a valuable tool for studying the dynamics of these MeV energetic particles. ACE satellite measurements of the MHD solar wind parameters are used as the upstream boundary condition for the Lyon-Fedder-Mobarry (LFM) 3D MHD code calculation of fields, used to drive electrons in 2D and 3D test particle simulations. In this study simulations were performed to investigate energization and loss of energetic radiation belt electrons. The response of the radiation belts to a CM. . .
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Authors: Pakhotin I. P., Drozdov A. Y., Shprits Y Y, Boynton R. J., Subbotin D. A., et al.
Title: Simulation of high-energy radiation belt electron fluxes using NARMAX-VERB coupled codes
Abstract: This study presents a fusion of data-driven and physics-driven methodologies of energetic electron flux forecasting in the outer radiation belt. Data-driven NARMAX (Nonlinear AutoRegressive Moving Averages with eXogenous inputs) model predictions for geosynchronous orbit fluxes have been used as an outer boundary condition to drive the physics-based Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code, to simulate energetic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt environment. The coupled system has been tested for three extended time periods totalling several weeks of observations. The time periods involved periods of quiet, moderate, and strong geomagnetic activity and captured a range of dynamics typical of the radiation belts. The model has successfully simulated energetic electron fluxes . . .
Date: 10/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020238 Available at:
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Authors: Artemyev A. V., Agapitov O. V., Mozer F, and Krasnoselskikh V.
Title: Thermal electron acceleration by localized bursts of electric field in the radiation belts
Abstract: In this paper we investigate the resonant interaction of thermal ~10−100 eV electrons with a burst of electrostatic field that results in electron acceleration to kilovolt energies. This single burst contains a large parallel electric field of one sign and a much smaller, longer lasting parallel field of the opposite sign. The Van Allen Probe spacecraft often observes clusters of spatially localized bursts in the Earth's outer radiation belts. These structures propagate mostly away from thegeomagnetic equator and share properties of soliton-like nonlinear electron-acoustic waves: a velocity of propagation is about the thermal velocity of cold electrons (~3000−10000 km/s), and a spatial scale of electric field localization alongthe field lines is about the Debye radius of hot electrons . . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061248 Available at:
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Authors: Osmane A., and Pulkkinen T. I.
Title: On the threshold energization of radiation belt electrons by double layers
Abstract: Using a Hamiltonian approach, we quantify the energization threshold of electrons interacting with radiation belts' double layers discovered by Mozer et al. (2013). We find that double layers with electric field amplitude E0 ranging between 10 and 100 mV/m and spatial scales of the order of few Debye lengths are very efficient in energizing electrons with initial velocities v∥ ≤ vth to 1 keV levels but are unable to energize electrons with E ≥ 100 keV. Our results indicate that the localized electric field associated with the double layers are unlikely to generate a seed population of 100 keV necessary for a plethora of relativistic acceleration mechanisms and additional transport to higher energetic levels.
Date: 10/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020236 Available at:
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Authors: Hartley D. P., Chen Y., Kletzing C A, Denton M. H., and Kurth W S
Title: Applying the cold plasma dispersion relation to whistler mode chorus waves: EMFISIS wave measurements from the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: Most theoretical wave models require the power in the wave magnetic field in order to determine the effect of chorus waves on radiation belt electrons. However, researchers typically use the cold plasma dispersion relation to approximate the magnetic wave power when only electric field data are available. In this study, the validity of using the cold plasma dispersion relation in this context is tested using Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) observations of both the electric and magnetic spectral intensities in the chorus wave band (0.1–0.9 fce). Results from this study indicate that the calculated wave intensity is least accurate during periods of enhanced wave activity. For observed wave intensities >10−3 nT2, using the cold plasma dispersi. . .
Date: 02/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020808 Available at:
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Authors: Mourenas D., Artemyev A. V., and Agapitov O.V.
Title: Approximate analytical formulation of radial diffusion and whistler-induced losses from a pre-existing flux peak in the plasmasphere
Abstract: Modeling the spatio-temporal evolution of relativistic electron fluxes trapped in the Earth's radiation belts in the presence of radial diffusion coupled with wave-induced losses should address one important question: how deep can relativistic electrons penetrate into the inner magnetosphere? However, a full modelling requires extensive numerical simulations solving the comprehensive quasi-linear equations describing pitch-angle and radial diffusion of the electron distribution, making it rather difficult to perform parametric studies of the flux behavior. Here, we consider the particular situation where a localized flux peak (or storage ring) has been produced at low L < 4 during a period of strong disturbances, through a combination of chorus-induced energy diffusion (or direct injection. . .
Date: 08/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021623 Available at:
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Authors: Artemyev A. V., Agapitov O. V., Mozer F S, and Spence H.
Title: Butterfly pitch-angle distribution of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt: Evidence of nonadiabatic scattering
Abstract: In this paper we investigate the scattering of relativistic electrons in the night-side outer radiation belt (around the geostationary orbit). We consider the particular case of low geomagnetic activity (|Dst|< 20 nT), quiet conditions in the solar wind, and absence of whistler wave emissions. For such conditions we find several events of Van-Allen probe observations of butterfly pitch-angle distributions of relativistic electrons (energies about 1-3 MeV). Many previous publications have described such pitch-angle distributions over a wide energy range as due to the combined effect of outward radial diffusion and magnetopause shadowing. In this paper we discuss another mechanism that produces butterfly distributions over a limited range of electron energies. We suggest that such distributi. . .
Date: 05/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020865 Available at:
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Authors: Shprits Yuri Y, Kellerman Adam, Drozdov Alexander, Spense Harlan, Reeves Geoffrey, et al.
Title: Combined Convective and Diffusive Simulations: VERB-4D Comparison with March 17, 2013 Van Allen Probes Observations
Abstract: This study is focused on understanding the coupling between different electron populations in the inner magnetosphere and the various physical processes that determine evolution of electron fluxes at different energies. Observations during the March 17, 2013 storm and simulations with a newly developed Versatile Electron Radiation Belt-4D (VERB-4D) are presented. Analysis of the drift trajectories of the energetic and relativistic electrons shows that electron trajectories at transitional energies with a first invariant on the scale of ~100MeV/G may resemble ring current or relativistic electron trajectories depending on the level of geomagnetic activity. Simulations with the VERB-4D code including convection, radial diffusion, and energy diffusion are presented. Sensitivity simulations in. . .
Date: 09/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065230 Available at:
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Authors: Turner D. L., O'Brien T P, Fennell J. F., Claudepierre S G, Blake J B, et al.
Title: The effects of geomagnetic storms on electrons in Earth's radiation belts
Abstract: We use Van Allen Probes data to investigate the responses of 10s of keV to 2 MeV electrons throughout a broad range of the radiation belts (2.5 ≤ L ≤ 6.0) during 52 geomagnetic storms from the most recent solar maximum. Electron storm-time responses are highly dependent on both electron energy and L-shell. 10s of keV electrons typically have peak fluxes in the inner belt or near-Earth plasma sheet and fill the inner magnetosphere during storm main phases. ~100 to ~600 keV electrons are enhanced in up to 87% of cases around L~3.7, and their peak flux location moves to lower L-shells during storm recovery phases. Relativistic electrons (≥~1 MeV) are nearly equally likely to produce enhancement, depletion, and no-change events in the outer belt. We also show that the L-shell of peak flu. . .
Date: 07/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064747 Available at:
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Authors: Turner D. L., Claudepierre S G, Fennell J. F., O'Brien T P, Blake J B, et al.
Title: Energetic electron injections deep into the inner magnetosphere associated with substorm activity
Abstract: From a survey of the first nightside season of NASA's Van Allen Probes mission (Dec/2012 – Sep/2013), 47 energetic (10s to 100s of keV) electron injection events were found at L-shells ≤ 4, all of which are deeper than any previously reported substorm-related injections. Preliminary details from these events are presented, including how: all occurred shortly after dipolarization signatures and injections were observed at higher L-shells; the deepest observed injection was at L~2.5; and, surprisingly, L≤4 injections are limited in energy to ≤250 keV. We present a detailed case study of one example event revealing that the injection of electrons down to L~3.5 was different from injections observed at higher L and likely resulted from drift resonance with a fast magnetosonic wave in t. . .
Date: 02/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063225 Available at:
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Authors: Reeves Geoffrey D, Friedel Reiner H W, Larsen Brian A., Skoug Ruth M., Funsten Herbert O., et al.
Title: Energy dependent dynamics of keV to MeV electrons in the inner zone, outer zone, and slot regions.
Abstract: We present observations of the radiation belts from the HOPE and MagEIS particle detectors on the Van Allen Probes satellites that illustrate the energy-dependence and L-shell dependence of radiation belt enhancements and decays. We survey events in 2013 and analyze an event on March 1 in more detail. The observations show: (a) At all L-shells, lower-energy electrons are enhanced more often than higher energies; (b) Events that fill the slot region are more common at lower energies; (c) Enhancements of electrons in the inner zone are more common at lower energies; and (d) Even when events do not fully fill the slot region, enhancements at lower-energies tend to extend to lower L-shells than higher energies. During enhancement events the outer zone extends to lower L-shells at lower energie. . .
Date: 12/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021569 Available at:
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Authors: Omura Yoshiharu, Miyashita Yu, Yoshikawa Masato, Summers Danny, Hikishima Mitsuru, et al.
Title: Formation process of relativistic electron flux through interaction with chorus emissions in the Earth's inner magnetosphere
Abstract: We perform test particle simulations of energetic electrons interacting with whistler mode chorus emissions. We compute trajectories of a large number of electrons forming a delta function with the same energy and equatorial pitch angle. The electrons are launched at different locations along the magnetic field line and different timings with respect to a pair of chorus emissions generated at the magnetic equator. We follow the evolution of the delta function and obtain a distribution function in energy and equatorial pitch angle, which is a numerical Green's function for one cycle of chorus wave-particle interaction. We obtain the Green's functions for the energy range 10 keV–6 MeV and all pitch angles greater than the loss cone angle. By taking the convolution integral of the Green's f. . .
Date: 11/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 9545–9562 DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021563 Available at:
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Authors: Neal Jason J., Rodger Craig J., Clilverd Mark A., Thomson Neil R., Raita Tero, et al.
Title: Long-term determination of energetic electron precipitation into the atmosphere from AARDDVARK subionospheric VLF observations
Abstract: We analyze observations of subionospherically propagating very low frequency (VLF) radio waves to determine outer radiation belt energetic electron precipitation (EEP) flux magnitudes. The radio wave receiver in Sodankylä, Finland (Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory) observes signals from the transmitter with call sign NAA (Cutler, Maine). The receiver is part of the Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt Dynamic Deposition VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortia (AARDDVARK). We use a near-continuous data set spanning November 2004 until December 2013 to determine the long time period EEP variations. We determine quiet day curves over the entire period and use these to identify propagation disturbances caused by EEP. Long Wave Propagation Code radio wave propagation modeling is used to estimate the p. . .
Date: 03/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020689 Available at:
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Authors: Agapitov O. V., Artemyev A. V., Mourenas D., Mozer F S, and Krasnoselskikh V.
Title: Nonlinear local parallel acceleration of electrons through Landau trapping by oblique whistler mode waves in the outer radiation belt
Abstract: Simultaneous observations of electron velocity distributions and chorus waves by the Van Allen Probe B are analyzed to identify long-lasting (more than 6 h) signatures of electron Landau resonant interactions with oblique chorus waves in the outer radiation belt. Such Landau resonant interactions result in the trapping of ∼1–10 keV electrons and their acceleration up to 100–300 keV. This kind of process becomes important for oblique whistler mode waves having a significant electric field component along the background magnetic field. In the inhomogeneous geomagnetic field, such resonant interactions then lead to the formation of a plateau in the parallel (with respect to the geomagnetic field) velocity distribution due to trapping of electrons into the wave effective potential. We de. . .
Date: 12/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 10,140 - 10,149 DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066887 Available at:
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Authors: Blum L. W., Halford A., Millan R., Bonnell J. W., Goldstein J, et al.
Title: Observations of coincident EMIC wave activity and duskside energetic electron precipitation on 18-19 January 2013
Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been suggested to be a cause of radiation belt electron loss to the atmosphere. Here simultaneous, magnetically conjugate measurements are presented of EMIC wave activity, measured at geosynchronous orbit and on the ground, and energetic electron precipitation, seen by the Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) campaign, on two consecutive days in January 2013. Multiple bursts of precipitation were observed on the duskside of the magnetosphere at the end of 18 January and again late on 19 January, concurrent with particle injections, substorm activity, and enhanced magnetospheric convection. The structure, timing, and spatial extent of the waves are compared to those of the precipitation during both days to det. . .
Date: 07/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065245 Available at:
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Authors: Xiao Fuliang, Zhou Qinghua, He Yihua, Yang Chang, Liu Si, et al.
Title: Penetration of magnetosonic waves into the plasmasphere observed by the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: During the small storm on 14–15 April 2014, Van Allen Probe A measured a continuously distinct proton ring distribution and enhanced magnetosonic (MS) waves along its orbit outside the plasmapause. Inside the plasmasphere, strong MS waves were still present but the distinct proton ring distribution was falling steeply with distance. We adopt a sum of subtracted bi-Maxwellian components to model the observed proton ring distribution and simulate the wave trajectory and growth. MS waves at first propagate toward lower L shells outside the plasmasphere, with rapidly increasing path gains related to the continuous proton ring distribution. The waves then gradually cross the plasmapause into the deep plasmasphere, with almost unchanged path gains due to the falling proton ring distribution an. . .
Date: 09/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065745 Available at:
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Authors: Kurita Satoshi, Kadokura Akira, Miyoshi Yoshizumi, Morioka Akira, Sato Yuka, et al.
Title: Relativistic electron precipitations in association with diffuse aurora: Conjugate observation of SAMPEX and the all sky TV camera at Syowa Station
Abstract: It has been believed that whistler mode waves can cause relativistic electron precipitations. It has been also pointed out that pitch angle scattering of ~keV electrons by whistler mode waves results in diffuse auroras. Thus, it is natural to expect relativistic electron precipitations associated with diffuse auroras. Based on a conjugate observation between the SAMPEX spacecraft and the all-sky TV camera at Syowa Station, we report, for the first time, a case in which relativistic electron precipitations are associated with diffuse aurora. The SAMPEX observation shows that the precipitations of >1 MeV electrons are well accompanied with those of >150 and >400 keV electrons. This indicates that electrons in the energy range from several keV to >1 MeV precipitate into the atmosphere s. . .
Date: 06/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064564 Available at:
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Authors: Xiong Ying, Xie Lun, Pu Zuyin, Fu Suiyan, Chen Lunjin, et al.
Title: Responses of relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt to geomagnetic storms
Abstract: Geomagnetic storms can either increase or decrease relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt. A statistical survey of 84 isolated storms demonstrates that geomagnetic storms preferentially decrease relativistic electron fluxes at higher energies, while flux enhancements are more common at lower energies. In about 87% of the storms, 0.3–2.5 MeV electron fluxes show an increase, whereas 2.5–14 MeV electron fluxes increase in only 35% of the storms. Superposed epoch analyses suggest that such “energy-dependent” responses of electrons preferably occur during conditions of high solar wind density which is favorable to generate magnetospheric electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, and these events are associated with relatively weaker chorus activities. We have examin. . .
Date: 11/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 9513–9523 DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021440 Available at:
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Authors: Brito T, Hudson M K, Kress B., Paral J., Halford A., et al.
Title: Simulation of ULF wave modulated radiation belt electron precipitation during the 17 March 2013 storm
Abstract: Balloon-borne instruments detecting radiation belt precipitation frequently observe oscillations in the mHz frequency range. Balloons measuring electron precipitation near the poles in the 100 keV to 2.5 MeV energy range, including the MAXIS, MINIS, and most recently the BARREL balloon experiments, have observed this modulation at ULF wave frequencies [e.g. Foat et al., 1998; Millan et al., 2002; Millan, 2011]. Although ULF waves in the magnetosphere are seldom directly linked to increases in electron precipitation since their oscillation periods are much larger than the gyroperiod and the bounce period of radiation belt electrons, test particle simulations show that this interaction is possible [Brito et al., 2012]. 3D simulations of radiation belt electrons were performed to investigate . . .
Date: 03/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020838 Available at:
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Authors: Lessard Marc R., Lindgren Erik A., Engebretson Mark J, and Weaver Carol
Title: Solar cycle dependence of ion cyclotron wave frequencies
Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves have been studied for decades, though remain a fundamentally important topic in heliospheric physics. The connection of EMIC waves to the scattering of energetic particles from Earth's radiation belts is one ofmany topics that motivate the need for a deeper understanding of characteristics and occurrence distributions of the waves. In this study, we show that EMIC wave frequencies, as observed at Halley Station in Antarctica from 2008 through 2012, increase by approximately 60% from a minimum in 2009 to the end of 2012. Assuming that these waves are excited in the vicinity of the plasmapause, the change in Kp in going from solar minimum to near solar maximum would drive increased plasmapause erosion, potentially shifting the generation region of t. . .
Date: 04/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020791 Available at:
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Authors: Jaynes A.N., Baker D.N., Singer H.J., Rodriguez J.V., Loto'aniu T.M., et al.
Title: Source and Seed Populations for Relativistic Electrons: Their Roles in Radiation Belt Changes
Abstract: Strong enhancements of outer Van Allen belt electrons have been shown to have a clear dependence on solar wind speed and on the duration of southward interplanetary magnetic field. However, individual case study analyses also have demonstrated that many geomagnetic storms produce little in the way of outer belt enhancements and, in fact, may produce substantial losses of relativistic electrons. In this study, focused upon a key period in August-September 2014, we use GOES geostationary orbit electron flux data and Van Allen Probes particle and fields data to study the process of radiation belt electron acceleration. One particular interval, 13-22 September, initiated by a short-lived geomagnetic storm and characterized by a long period of primarily northward IMF, showed strong depletion of. . .
Date: 07/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021234 Available at:
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Authors: Woodger L A, Halford A J, Millan R M, McCarthy M P, Smith D M, et al.
Title: A Summary of the BARREL Campaigns: Technique for studying electron precipitation
Abstract: The Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) studies the loss of energetic electrons from Earth's radiation belts. BARREL's array of slowly drifting balloon payloads was designed to capitalize on magnetic conjunctions with NASA's Van Allen Probes. Two campaigns were conducted from Antarctica in 2013 and 2014. During the first campaign in January and February of 2013, there were three moderate geomagnetic storms with Sym-Hmin < −40 nT. Similarly, two minor geomagnetic storms occurred during the second campaign, starting in December of 2013 and continuing on into February of 2014. Throughout the two campaigns, BARREL observed electron precipitation over a wide range of energies and exhibiting temporal structure from 100's of milliseconds to hours. Relativistic. . .
Date: 05/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020874 Available at:
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Authors: Hrbáčková Z., Santolik O, Němec F., Macúšová E., and Cornilleau-Wehrlin N.
Title: Systematic analysis of occurrence of equatorial noise emissions using 10 years of data from the Cluster mission
Abstract: We report results of a systematic analysis of equatorial noise (EN) emissions which are also known as fast magnetosonic waves. EN occurs in the vicinity of the geomagnetic equator at frequencies between the local proton cyclotron frequency and the lower hybrid frequency. Our analysis is based on the data collected by the Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuations–Spectrum Analyzer instruments on board the four Cluster spacecraft. The data set covers the period from January 2001 to December 2010. We have developed selection criteria for the visual identification of these emissions, and we have compiled a list of more than 2000 events identified during the analyzed time period. The evolution of the Cluster orbit enables us to investigate a large range of McIlwain's parameter from about. . .
Date: 02/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020268 Available at:
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Authors: Kilpua E. K. J., Hietala H., Turner D. L., Koskinen H. E. J., Pulkkinen T. I., et al.
Title: Unraveling the drivers of the storm time radiation belt response
Abstract: We present a new framework to study the time evolution and dynamics of the outer Van Allen belt electron fluxes. The framework is entirely based on the large-scale solar wind storm drivers and their substructures. The Van Allen Probe observations, revealing the electron flux behavior throughout the outer belt, are combined with continuous, long-term (over 1.5 solar cycles) geosynchronous orbit data set from GOES and solar wind measurements A superposed epoch analysis, where we normalize the timescales for each substructure (sheath, ejecta, and interface region) allows us to avoid smearing effects and to distinguish the electron flux evolution during various driver structures. We show that the radiation belt response is not random: The electron flux variations are determined by the combined. . .
Date: 04/2015 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063542 Available at:
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Authors: Engebretson M. J., Posch J. L., Wygant J R, Kletzing C A, Lessard M. R., et al.
Title: Van Allen probes, NOAA, GOES, and ground observations of an intense EMIC wave event extending over 12 hours in MLT
Abstract: Although most studies of the effects of EMIC waves on Earth's outer radiation belt have focused on events in the afternoon sector in the outer plasmasphere or plume region, strong magnetospheric compressions provide an additional stimulus for EMIC wave generation across a large range of local times and L shells. We present here observations of the effects of a wave event on February 23, 2014 that extended over 8 hours in UT and over 12 hours in local time, stimulated by a gradual 4-hour rise and subsequent sharp increases in solar wind pressure. Large-amplitude linearly polarized hydrogen band EMIC waves (up to 25 nT p-p) appeared for over 4 hours at both Van Allen Probes, from late morning through local noon, when these spacecraft were outside the plasmapause, with densities ~5-20 cm-3. W. . .
Date: 06/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021227 Available at:
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Authors: Agapitov O. V., Mozer F. S., Artemyev A. V., Mourenas D., and Krasnoselskikh V. V.
Title: Wave-particle interactions in the outer radiation belts
Abstract: Data from the Van Allen Probes have provided the first extensive evidence of non-linear (as opposed to quasi-linear) wave-particle interactions in space, with the associated rapid (fraction of a bounce period) electron acceleration, to hundreds of keV by Landau resonance, in the parallel electric fields of time domain structures (TDS) and very oblique chorus waves. The experimental evidence, simulations, and theories of these processes are discussed.
Date: 12/2015 Publisher: Advances in Astronomy and Space Physics Pages: 68-74 DOI: N/A Available at:
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Authors: Moya Pablo. S., Pinto Víctor A., Viñas Adolfo F., Sibeck David G., Kurth William S., et al.
Title: Weak Kinetic Alfvén Waves Turbulence during the November 14th 2012 geomagnetic storm: Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: n the dawn sector, L~ 5.5 and MLT~4-7, from 01:30 to 06:00 UT during the November 14th 2012 geomagnetic storm, both Van Allen Probes observed an alternating sequence of locally quiet and disturbed intervals with two strikingly different power fluctuation levels and magnetic field orientations: either small (~10−2 nT2) total power with strong GSM Bx and weak By, or large (~10 nT2) total power with weak Bx, and strong By and Bz components. During both kinds of intervals the fluctuations occur in the vicinity of the local ion gyro-frequencies (0.01-10 Hz) in the spacecraft frame, propagate oblique to the magnetic field, (θ ~ 60°) and have magnetic compressibility C = |δB|||/|δB⊥| ∼ 1, where δB|| (δB⊥) are the average amplitudes of the fluctuations parallel (perpendicular) to the. . .
Date: 06/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020281 Available at:
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