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Authors: Mauk B H, Fox N J, Kanekal S G, Kessel R L, Sibeck D G, et al.
Title: Science Objectives and Rationale for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission
Abstract: The NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission addresses how populations of high energy charged particles are created, vary, and evolve in space environments, and specifically within Earth’s magnetically trapped radiation belts. RBSP, with a nominal launch date of August 2012, comprises two spacecraft making in situ measurements for at least 2 years in nearly the same highly elliptical, low inclination orbits (1.1×5.8 RE, 10∘). The orbits are slightly different so that 1 spacecraft laps the other spacecraft about every 2.5 months, allowing separation of spatial from temporal effects over spatial scales ranging from ∼0.1 to 5 RE. The uniquely comprehensive suite of instruments, identical on the two spacecraft, measures all of the particle (electrons, ions, ion composition), fiel. . .
Date: 11/2013 Publisher: Space Science Reviews Pages: 3-27, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9908-y Available at:
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Authors: Hudson M K
Title: Space physics: A fast lane in the magnetosphere
Abstract: A marriage between satellite observations and modelling has shown that acceleration of electrons in the magnetosphere can be explained by scattering of these particles by plasma oscillations known as chorus waves.
Date: 12/2013 Publisher: Nature Pages: 383 - 384 DOI: 10.1038/504383a Available at:
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Authors: Li W, Thorne R M, Bortnik J, Reeves G D, Kletzing C A, et al.
Title: An unusual enhancement of low-frequency plasmaspheric hiss in the outer plasmasphere associated with substorm-injected electrons
Abstract: Both plasmaspheric hiss and chorus waves were observed simultaneously by the two Van Allen Probes in association with substorm-injected energetic electrons. Probe A, located inside the plasmasphere in the postdawn sector, observed intense plasmaspheric hiss, whereas Probe B observed chorus waves outside the plasmasphere just before dawn. Dispersed injections of energetic electrons were observed in the dayside outer plasmasphere associated with significant intensification of plasmaspheric hiss at frequencies down to ~20 Hz, much lower than typical hiss wave frequencies of 100–2000 Hz. In the outer plasmasphere, the upper energy of injected electrons agrees well with the minimum cyclotron resonant energy calculated for the lower cutoff frequency of the observed hiss, and computed conve. . .
Date: 08/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 3798 - 3803 DOI: 10.1002/grl.50787 Available at:
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Authors: Shprits Yuri Y, Subbotin Dmitriy, Drozdov Alexander, Usanova Maria E., Kellerman Adam, et al.
Title: Unusual stable trapping of the ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts
Abstract: Radiation in space was the first discovery of the space age. Earth’s radiation belts consist of energetic particles that are trapped by the geomagnetic field and encircle the planet1. The electron radiation belts usually form a two-zone structure with a stable inner zone and a highly variable outer zone, which forms and disappears owing to wave–particle interactions on the timescale of a day, and is strongly influenced by the very-low-frequency plasma waves. Recent observations revealed a third radiation zone at ultrarelativistic energies2, with the additional medium narrow belt (long-lived ring) persisting for approximately 4 weeks. This new ring resulted from a combination of electron losses to the interplanetary medium and scattering by electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves to the Ear. . .
Date: 11/2013 Publisher: Nature Physics Pages: 699 - 703 DOI: 10.1038/nphys2760 Available at:
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Authors: Harvey Raymond J., and Eichstedt John
Title: Van Allen Probes Low Cost Mission Operations Concept and Lessons Learned
Abstract: Following a successful 60-day commissioning period, NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission, was renamed Van Allen Probes in honor of the discoverer of Earth’s radiation belts – James Van Allen. The Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) executed the mission and is currently operating the twin spacecraft in their primary mission. Improving on the cost-savings concepts employed by prior APL projects, the Van Allen Probes mission operations was designed from the start for low-cost, highly-automated mission operations. This concept is realized with automated initial planning and contact scheduling, unattended real-time operations, and spacecraft performance assessment from the review of data products that have been automatically generat. . .
Date: 09/2013 Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics DOI: 10.2514/MSPACE1310.2514/6.2013-5450 Available at:
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Authors: Fox N. J., and Burch J. L.
Title: The Van Allen Probes Mission
Abstract: N/A
Date: Publisher: Springer Pages: 646 DOI: N/A Available at:,+space+sciences/book/978-1-4899-7432-7
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Authors: Claudepierre S G, Mann I R, Takahashi K, Fennell J F, Hudson M K, et al.
Title: Van Allen Probes observation of localized drift-resonance between poloidal mode ultra-low frequency waves and 60 keV electrons
Abstract: [1] We present NASA Van Allen Probes observations of wave-particle interactions between magnetospheric ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves and energetic electrons (20–500 keV) on 31 October 2012. The ULF waves are identified as the fundamental poloidal mode oscillation and are excited following an interplanetary shock impact on the magnetosphere. Large amplitude modulations in energetic electron flux are observed at the same period (≈ 3 min) as the ULF waves and are consistent with a drift-resonant interaction. The azimuthal mode number of the interacting wave is estimated from the electron measurements to be ~40, based on an assumed symmetric drift resonance. The drift-resonant interaction is observed to be localized and occur over 5–6 wave cycles, demonstrating peak electron flux modul. . .
Date: 09/2013 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 4491–4497 DOI: 10.1002/grl.50901 Available at:
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Authors: Butler M. H.
Title: The Van Allen Probes Power System Launch and Early Mission Performance
Abstract: The Van Allen Probes are twin NASA spacecraft that were launched August 30, 2012, into lapping highly elliptical earth orbits. The twin spacecraft will operate within the Van Allen radiation belts throughout their two-year mission. The Van Allen Probes are sponsored by NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program. The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory designed, fabricated, and operates the twin spacecraft for NASA. The power systems of the twin spacecraft are identical. A direct energy transfer topology was selected for the power system. The loads are connected directly to the eight-cell Lithium Ion battery. The solar panels consist of triple junction cells. The design average power of each spacecraft is about 350 Watts, nominal 28.8 volt bus. A single 50 AH . . .
Date: 07/2013 Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics DOI: 10.2514/MIECEC1310.2514/6.2013-3737 Available at:
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Authors: Kirby Karen, and Stratton Jim
Title: Van Allen Probes: Successful launch campaign and early operations exploring Earth's radiation belts
Abstract: The twin Van Allen Probe observatories developed at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for NASA's Heliophysics Division completed final observatory integration and environmental test activities and were successfully launched into orbit around the Earth on August 30, 2012. As the science operations phase begins, the mission is providing exciting new information about the impact of radiation belt activity on the earth. The on-board boom mounted magnetometers and other instruments are the most sensitive sensors of their type that have ever flown in the Van Allen radiation belts. The observatories are producing near-Earth space weather information that can be used to provide warnings of potential power grid interruptions or satellite damaging storms. The Van Allen Probes a. . .
Date: 03/2013 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/AERO.2013.6496838 Available at:
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Authors: Reeves G D, Spence H E, Henderson M G, Tu W., Cunningham G. S., et al.
Title: Acceleration and loss driven by VLF chorus: Van Allen Probes observations and DREAM model results
Abstract: For over a decade now we have understood the response of the Earth's radiation belts to solar wind driving are a delicate balance of acceleration and loss processes. Theory has shown that the interaction of relativistic electrons with VLF whistler mode chorus can produce both energization through momentum diffusion and loss through pitch angle diffusion. Recent results from the Van Allen Probes mission has confirmed observationally that chorus can produce both acceleration and loss. The Van Allen Probes satellites are able to measure all the critical particle populations and wave fields with unprecedented precision and resolution but only at the two spacecraft locations. Those spatially-localized observations can be extended globally using three-dimensional diffusion codes such as the DREA. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929879 Available at:
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Authors: Yu Yiqun, Koller Josef, Jordanova Vania K., Zaharia Sorin G., Friedel Reinhard W., et al.
Title: Application and testing of the L * neural network with the self-consistent magnetic field model of RAM-SCB
Abstract: We expanded our previous work on L* neural networks that used empirical magnetic field models as the underlying models by applying and extending our technique to drift shells calculated from a physics-based magnetic field model. While empirical magnetic field models represent an average, statistical magnetospheric state, the RAM-SCB model, a first-principles magnetically self-consistent code, computes magnetic fields based on fundamental equations of plasma physics. Unlike the previous L* neural networks that include McIlwain L and mirror point magnetic field as part of the inputs, the new L* neural network only requires solar wind conditions and the Dst index, allowing for an easier preparation of input parameters. This new neural network is compared against those previously trained netwo. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 1683 - 1692 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.310.1002/2013JA019350 Available at:
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Authors: Schultz Colin
Title: Boom and bust for radiation belt high-energy electron populations
Abstract: Launched on 30 August 2012, the twin Van Allen probes constitute the first dedicated mission in decades to study the Earth's radiation belts. The sensor-laden spacecraft follow a nearly equatorial orbit, which gives them a complete view of the full range of radiation belt processes. In a new study, Baker et al. lay out some of the surprising results unveiled by the crafts' first year in orbit.
Date: 07/2014 Publisher: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union Pages: 260 - 260 DOI: 10.1002/eost.v95.2810.1002/2014EO280021 Available at:
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Authors: Li W, Ni B, Thorne R M, Bortnik J, Green J C, et al.
Title: Calculation of whistler-mode wave intensity using energetic electron precipitation
Abstract: The energetic electron population measured by multiple low-altitude POES satellites is used to infer whistlermode wave amplitudes using a physics-based inversion technique. We validate this technique by quantitatively analyzing a conjunction event between the Van Allen Probes and POES, and find that the inferred hiss wave amplitudes from POES electron measurements agree remarkably well with directly measured hiss waves amplitudes. We also use this technique to construct the global distribution of chorus wave intensity with extensive coverage over a broad L-MLT region during the 8–9 October 2012 storm and demonstrate that the inferred chorus wave amplitudes agree well with conjugate measurements of chorus wave amplitudes from the Van Allen Probes. The evolution of the whistler-mode wave i. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929965 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: Zhao H., Li X, Blake J B, Fennell J. F., Claudepierre S G, et al.
Title: Characteristics of pitch angle distributions of 100 s keV electrons in the slot region and inner radiation belt
Abstract: The pitch angle distribution (PAD) of energetic electrons in the slot region and inner radiation belt received little attention in the past decades due to the lack of quality measurements. Using the state-of-art pitch-angle-resolved data from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) instrument onboard the Van Allen Probes, a detailed analysis of 100 s keV electron PADs below L = 4 is performed, in which the PADs is categorized into three types: normal (flux peaking at 90∘), cap (exceedingly peaking narrowly around 90∘) and 90∘-minimum (lower flux at 90∘) PADs. By examining the characteristics of the PADs of ~460 keV electrons for over a year, we find that the 90∘-minimum PADs are generally present in the inner belt (L < 2), while normal PADs dominate at .L ~3.5. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020386 Available at:
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Authors: Xiao Fuliang, Yang Chang, He Zhaoguo, Su Zhenpeng, Zhou Qinghua, et al.
Title: Chorus acceleration of radiation belt relativistic electrons during March 2013 geomagnetic storm
Abstract: The recent launching of Van Allen probes provides an unprecedent opportunity to investigate variations of the radiation belt relativistic electrons. During the 17–19 March 2013 storm, the Van Allen probes simultaneously detected strong chorus waves and substantial increases in fluxes of relativistic (2 − 4.5 MeV) electrons around L = 4.5. Chorus waves occurred within the lower band 0.1–0.5fce (the electron equatorial gyrofrequency), with a peak spectral density ∼10−4 nT2/Hz. Correspondingly, relativistic electron fluxes increased by a factor of 102–103 during the recovery phase compared to the main phase levels. By means of a Gaussian fit to the observed chorus spectra, the drift and bounce-averaged diffusion coefficients are calculated and then used to solve a 2-D Fokker-Planc. . .
Date: 05/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 3325 - 3332 DOI: 10.1002/2014JA019822 Available at:
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Authors: Malaspina D. M., Ergun R. E., Sturner A., Wygant J R, Bonnell J W, et al.
Title: Chorus waves and spacecraft potential fluctuations: Evidence for wave-enhanced photoelectron escape
Abstract: Chorus waves are important for electron energization and loss in Earth's radiation belts and inner magnetosphere. Because the amplitude and spatial distribution of chorus waves can be strongly influenced by plasma density fluctuations and spacecraft floating potential can be a diagnostic of plasma density, the relationship between measured potential and chorus waves is examined using Van Allen Probes data. While measured potential and chorus wave electric fields correlate strongly, potential fluctuation properties are found not to be consistent with plasma density fluctuations on the timescales of individual chorus wave packets. Instead, potential fluctuations are consistent with enhanced photoelectron escape driven by chorus wave electric fields. Enhanced photoelectron escape may result i. . .
Date: 01/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 236 - 243 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058769 Available at:
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Authors: Su Zhenpeng, Xiao Fuliang, Zheng Huinan, and Zhu Hui
Title: Chorus-driven acceleration of radiation belt electrons in the unusual temporal/spatial regions
Abstract: Cyclotron resonance with whistler-mode chorus waves is an important mechanism for the local acceleration of radiation belt energetic electrons. Such acceleration process has been widely investigated during the storm times, and its favored region is usually considered to be the low-density plasmatrough with magnetic local time (MLT) from midnight through dawn to noon. Here we present two case studies on the chorus-driven acceleration of radiation belt electrons in some “unusual” temporal /spatial regions. (1) The first event recorded by the Van Allen Probes during the nonstorm times from 21 to 23 February 2013. Within two days, a new radiation belt centering around L=5.8 formed and gradually merged with the original outer belt. The corresponding relativistic electron fluxes increased by. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929875 Available at:
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Authors: Mauk B H
Title: Comparative Investigation of the Energetic Ion Spectra Comprising the Magnetospheric Ring Currents of the Solar System
Abstract: Investigated here are factors that control the intensities and shapes of energetic ion spectra that make up the ring current populations of the strongly magnetized planets of the solar system, specifically those of Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Following a previous and similar comparative investigation of radiation belt electrons, we here turn our attention to ions. Specifically, we examine the possible role of the differential ion Kennel-Petschek limit, as moderated by Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves, as a standard for comparing the most intense ion spectra within the strongly magnetized planetary magnetospheres. In carrying out this investigation, the substantial complexities engendered by the very different ion composition distributions of these diverse magneto. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020392 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: Turner D. L., Angelopoulos V, Li W, Bortnik J, Ni B, et al.
Title: Competing source and loss mechanisms due to wave-particle interactions in Earth's outer radiation belt during the 30 September to 3 October 2012 geomagnetic storm
Abstract: Drastic variations of Earth's outer radiation belt electrons ultimately result from various competing source, loss, and transport processes, to which wave-particle interactions are critically important. Using 15 spacecraft including NASA's Van Allen Probes, THEMIS, and SAMPEX missions and NOAA's GOES and POES constellations, we investigated the evolution of the outer belt during the strong geomagnetic storm of 30 September to 3 October 2012. This storm's main phase dropout exhibited enhanced losses to the atmosphere at L* < 4, where the phase space density (PSD) of multi-MeV electrons dropped by over an order of magnitude in <4 h. Based on POES observations of precipitating >1 MeV electrons and energetic protons, SAMPEX >1 MeV electrons, and ground observations of band-limited Pc. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 1960 - 1979 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.310.1002/2014JA019770 Available at:
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Authors: Fok M.-C., Buzulukova N. Y., Chen S.-H., Glocer A., Nagai T., et al.
Title: The Comprehensive Inner Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Model
Abstract: Simulation studies of the Earth's radiation belts and ring current are very useful in understanding the acceleration, transport, and loss of energetic particles. Recently, the Comprehensive Ring Current Model (CRCM) and the Radiation Belt Environment (RBE) model were merged to form a Comprehensive Inner Magnetosphere-Ionosphere (CIMI) model. CIMI solves for many essential quantities in the inner magnetosphere, including ion and electron distributions in the ring current and radiation belts, plasmaspheric density, Region 2 currents, convection potential, and precipitation in the ionosphere. It incorporates whistler mode chorus and hiss wave diffusion of energetic electrons in energy, pitch angle, and cross terms. CIMI thus represents a comprehensive model that considers the effects of the r. . .
Date: 09/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7522 - 7540 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.910.1002/2014JA020239 Available at:
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Authors: Mozer S., Agapitov O., Krasnoselskikh V., Lejosne S., Reeves D., et al.
Title: Direct Observation of Radiation-Belt Electron Acceleration from Electron-Volt Energies to Megavolts by Nonlinear Whistlers
Abstract: The mechanisms for accelerating electrons from thermal to relativistic energies in the terrestrial magnetosphere, on the sun, and in many astrophysical environments have never been verified. We present the first direct observation of two processes that, in a chain, cause this acceleration in Earth’s outer radiation belt. The two processes are parallel acceleration from electron-volt to kilovolt energies by parallel electric fields in time-domain structures (TDS), after which the parallel electron velocity becomes sufficiently large for Doppler-shifted upper band whistler frequencies to be in resonance with the electron gyration frequency, even though the electron energies are kilovolts and not hundreds of kilovolts. The electrons are then accelerated by the whistler perpendicular electri. . .
Date: 07/2014 Publisher: Physical Review Letters DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.035001 Available at:
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Authors: Usanova M. E., Drozdov A., Orlova K., Mann I. R., Shprits Y., et al.
Title: Effect of EMIC waves on relativistic and ultrarelativistic electron populations: Ground-based and Van Allen Probes observations
Abstract: We study the effect of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves on the loss and pitch angle scattering of relativistic and ultrarelativistic electrons during the recovery phase of a moderate geomagnetic storm on 11 October 2012. The EMIC wave activity was observed in situ on the Van Allen Probes and conjugately on the ground across the Canadian Array for Real-time Investigations of Magnetic Activity throughout an extended 18 h interval. However, neither enhanced precipitation of >0.7 MeV electrons nor reductions in Van Allen Probe 90° pitch angle ultrarelativistic electron flux were observed. Computed radiation belt electron pitch angle diffusion rates demonstrate that rapid pitch angle diffusion is confined to low pitch angles and cannot reach 90°. For the first time, from both obse. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 1375 - 1381 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059024 Available at:
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Authors: Wang X., Malaspina D. M., Hsu H.-W., Ergun R. E., and M. Horányi.
Title: The effects of magnetic fields on photoelectron-mediated spacecraft potential fluctuations
Abstract: Previously, we have experimentally studied photoelectron-mediated spacecraft potential fluctuations associated with time-dependent external electric fields. In this paper, we investigate the effects of magnetic fields on such spacecraft potential fluctuations. A magnetic field is created above the UV-illuminated surface of a spacecraft model to alter the escape rate of photoelectrons. The packet of the observed potential oscillations becomes less positive with increasing magnetic field strength because more of the emitted photoelectrons are returned to the surface. As a result, the photoelectric charging time is increased, corresponding to a decrease in the response frequency of the photoemitting surface. The amplitude of the potential oscillations decreases when the response frequency bec. . .
Date: 09/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7319 - 7326 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.910.1002/2014JA019923 Available at:
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Authors: O'Brien T P, Claudepierre S G, Blake J B, Fennell J. F., Clemmons J. H., et al.
Title: An empirically observed pitch-angle diffusion eigenmode in the Earth's electron belt near L *  = 5.0
Abstract: Using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes, we have identified a synchronized exponential decay of electron flux in the outer zone, near L* = 5.0. Exponential decays strongly indicate the presence of a pure eigenmode of a diffusion operator acting in the synchronized dimension(s). The decay has a time scale of about 4 days with no dependence on pitch angle. While flux at nearby energies and L* is also decaying exponentially, the decay time varies in those dimensions. This suggests the primary decay mechanism is elastic pitch angle scattering, which itself depends on energy and L*. We invert the shape of the observed eigenmode to obtain an approximate shape of the pitch angle diffusion coefficient and show excellent agreement with diffusion by plasmaspheric hiss. Our results suggest that e. . .
Date: 01/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 251 - 258 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058713 Available at:
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Authors: Tu Weichao, Cunningham G. S., Chen Y., Morley S. K., Reeves G D, et al.
Title: Event-specific chorus wave and electron seed population models in DREAM3D using the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: The DREAM3D diffusion model is applied to Van Allen Probes observations of the fast dropout and strong enhancement of MeV electrons during the October 2012 “double-dip” storm. We show that in order to explain the very different behavior in the two “dips,” diffusion in all three dimensions (energy, pitch angle, and L*) coupled with data-driven, event-specific inputs, and boundary conditions is required. Specifically, we find that outward radial diffusion to the solar wind-driven magnetopause, an event-specific chorus wave model, and a dynamic lower-energy seed population are critical for modeling the dynamics. In contrast, models that include only a subset of processes, use statistical wave amplitudes, or rely on inward radial diffusion of a seed population, perform poorly. The resu. . .
Date: 03/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 1359 - 1366 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058819 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: Thomas Evan G., Yan Jingye, Zhang Jiaojiao, Baker Joseph B. H., Ruohoniemi Michael, et al.
Title: An examination of the source of decameter-scale irregularities in the geomagnetically disturbed mid-latitude ionosphere
Abstract: We present first results from a study of the plasma instability mechanism responsible for the small-scale (∼10 m) ionospheric density irregularities commonly observed by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radars in the vicinity of Sub Auroral Polarization Streams (SAPS) during periods of geomagnetic disturbance. A focus is placed on the mid-latitude region of the ionosphere over North America where recent expansion of the SuperDARN network allows for extensive direct comparisons with total electron content (TEC) measurements from a dense network of ground-based GPS receivers. The TEC observations indicate that high-speed SAPS channels and the associated small-scale irregularities are typically located within the mid-latitude ionospheric trough. The Millstone Hill Incoher. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929853 Available at:
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Authors: Zhang J.-C., Saikin A. A., Kistler L. M., Smith C W, Spence H E, et al.
Title: Excitation of EMIC waves detected by the Van Allen Probes on 28 April 2013
Abstract: We report the wave observations, associated plasma measurements, and linear theory testing of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) wave events observed by the Van Allen Probes on 28 April 2013. The wave events are detected in their generation regions as three individual events in two consecutive orbits of Van Allen Probe-A, while the other spacecraft, B, does not detect any significant EMIC wave activity during this period. Three overlapping H+ populations are observed around the plasmapause when the waves are excited. The difference between the observational EMIC wave growth parameter (Σh) and the theoretical EMIC instability parameter (Sh) is significantly raised, on average, to 0.10 ± 0.01, 0.15 ± 0.02, and 0.07 ± 0.02 during the three wave events, respectively. On Van A. . .
Date: 06/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 4101–4108 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060621 Available at:
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Authors: Zhou Qinghua, Xiao Fuliang, Yang Chang, Liu Si, Kletzing C A, et al.
Title: Excitation of nightside magnetosonic waves observed by Van Allen Probes
Abstract: During the recovery phase of the geomagnetic storm on 30-31 March 2013, Van Allen Probe A detected enhanced magnetosonic (MS) waves in a broad range of L =1.8-4.7 and MLT =17-22 h, with a frequency range ~10-100 Hz. In the meanwhile, distinct proton ring distributions with peaks at energies of ~10 keV, were also observed in L =3.2-4.6 and L =5.0-5.6. Using a subtracted bi-Maxwellian distribution to model the observed proton ring distribution, we perform three dimensional ray tracing to investigate the instability, propagation and spatial distribution of MS waves. Numerical results show that nightside MS waves are produced by proton ring distribution and grow rapidly from the source location L =5.6 to the location L =5.0, but remain nearly stable at locations L <5.0 Moreover, waves launched. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: n/a - n/a DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020481 Available at:
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Authors: Santolik O, Kletzing C A, Kurth W S, Hospodarsky G B, and Bounds S R
Title: Fine structure of large-amplitude chorus wave packets
Abstract: Whistler mode chorus waves in the outer Van Allen belt can have consequences for acceleration of relativistic electrons through wave-particle interactions. New multicomponent waveform measurements have been collected by the Van Allen Probes Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science's Waves instrument. We detect fine structure of chorus elements with peak instantaneous amplitudes of a few hundred picotesla but exceptionally reaching up to 3 nT, i.e., more than 1% of the background magnetic field. The wave vector direction turns by a few tens of degrees within a single chorus element but also within its subpackets. Our analysis of a significant number of subpackets embedded in rising frequency elements shows that amplitudes of their peaks tend to decrease with frequ. . .
Date: 01/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 293 - 299 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058889 Available at:
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Authors: Summers Danny, Omura Yoshiharu, Nakamura Satoko, and Kletzing Craig A.
Title: Fine structure of plasmaspheric hiss
Abstract: Plasmaspheric hiss has been widely regarded as a broadband, structureless, incoherent emission. In this study, by examining burst-mode vector waveform data from the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) instrument on the Van Allen Probes mission, we show that plasmaspheric hiss is a coherent emission with complex fine structure. Specifically, plasmaspheric hiss appears as discrete rising tone and falling tone elements. Our study comprises the analysis of two one-hour samples within which a total of 8 one-second samples were analyzed. By means of waveform analysis on two samples we identify typical amplitudes, phase profiles, and sweep rates of the rising and falling tone elements. The exciting new observations reported here can be expected to fuel a . . .
Date: 12/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020437 Available at:
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Authors: Chen Lunjin, Thorne Richard M, Bortnik Jacob, Li Wen, Horne Richard B, et al.
Title: Generation of Unusually Low Frequency Plasmaspheric Hiss
Abstract: It has been reported from Van Allen Probe observations that plasmaspheric hiss intensification in the outer plasmasphere, associated with a substorm injection on Sept 30 2012, occurred with a peak frequency near 100 Hz, well below the typical plasmaspheric hiss frequency range, extending down to ~20 Hz. We examine this event of unusually low frequency plasmaspheric hiss to understand its generation mechanism. Quantitative analysis is performed by simulating wave ray paths via the HOTRAY ray tracing code with measured plasma density and calculating ray path-integrated wave gain evaluated using the measured energetic electron distribution. We demonstrate that the growth rate due to substorm injected electrons is positive but rather weak, leading to small wave gain (~10 dB) during a sin. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060628 Available at:
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Authors: Chen Yue, Reeves Geoffrey D, Friedel Reiner H W, and Cunningham Gregory S.
Title: Global time-dependent chorus maps from low-Earth-orbit electron precipitation and Van Allen Probes data
Abstract: Substorm injected electrons (several–100 s keV) produce whistler-mode chorus waves that are thought to have a major impact on the radiation belts by causing both energization and loss of relativistic electrons in the outer belt. High-altitude measurements, such as those from the Van Allen Probes, provide detailed wave measurements at a few points in the magnetosphere. But physics-based models of radiation-belt dynamics require knowledge of the global distribution of chorus waves. We demonstrate that time-dependent, global distributions of near-equatorial chorus wave intensities can be inferred from low-Earth-orbit (LEO) measurements of precipitating low-energy electrons. We compare in situ observations of near-equatorial chorus waves with LEO observations of precipitating electrons a. . .
Date: 02/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 755 - 761 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059181 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: Foster J C
Title: Imaging the plasmasphere with ground based GPS TEC observations and comparisons with in situ plasmaspheric observations with Van Allen Probes
Abstract: For over a decade, incoherent scatter radar observations of the mid and auroral-latitude ionosphere combined with ground based GPS observations of total electron content (TEC) have been used to study the intense storm enhanced density (SED) plumes that form over the Americas during major geomagnetic storms [1]. Magnetic field mapping of the ionospheric observations to magnetospheric heights revealed close correspondence between the SED and plasmasphere erosion plumes observed from space in EUV imagery by the IMAGE satellite [2]. During the current solar cycle the global distribution of GPS receivers used in creating the TEC maps and movies has increased significantly providing near-continuous two-dimensional coverage of TEC morphology and dynamics over much the northern hemisphere mid and . . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929943 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: Paulson K. W., Smith C W, Lessard M. R., Engebretson M. J., Torbert R B, et al.
Title: In situ observations of Pc1 pearl pulsations by the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: We present in situ observations of Pc1 pearl pulsations using the Van Allen Probes. These waves are often observed using ground-based magnetometers, but are rarely observed by orbiting satellites. With the Van Allen Probes, we have seen at least 14 different pearl pulsation events during the first year of operations. These new in situ measurements allow us to identify the wave classification based on local magnetic field conditions. Additionally, by using two spacecraft, we are able to observe temporal changes in the region of observation. The waves appear to be generated at an overall central frequency, as often observed on the ground, and change polarization from left- to right-handedness as they propagate into a region where they are resonant with the crossover frequency (where R- and L. . .
Date: 04/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 1823 - 1829 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059187 Available at:
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Authors: Gerrard Andrew, Lanzerotti Louis, Gkioulidou Matina, Mitchell Donald, Manweiler Jerry, et al.
Title: Initial Measurements of O-ion and He-ion Decay Rates Observed from the Van Allen Probes RBSPICE Instrument
Abstract: H-ion (~45-keV to ~600-keV), He-ion (~65-keV to ~520-keV), and O-ion (~140-keV to ~1130-keV) integral flux measurements, from the Radiation Belt Storm Probe Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) instrument aboard the Van Allan Probes spacecraft B, are reported. These abundance data form a cohesive picture of ring current ions during the first nine months of measurements. Furthermore, the data presented herein are used to show injection characteristics via the He-ion/H-ion abundance ratio and the O-ion/H-ion abundance ratio. Of unique interest to ring current dynamics are the spatial-temporal decay characteristics of the two injected populations. We observe that He-ions decay more quickly at lower L-shells, on the orderof ~0.8-day at L-shells of 3–4, and decay more slowly with higher L-she. . .
Date: 11/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020374 Available at:
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Authors: Foster John C, and Erickson Philip J.
Title: Initial observations of plasma waves in the sub-auroral polarization stream with the Van Allen Probes
Abstract: The Sub-Auroral Polarization Stream (SAPS) is a geospace boundary layer phenomenon associated with the interaction of the warm plasma of the magnetospheric ring current with the cold ions and electrons of the outer plasmasphere [1]. Driven by ring current enhancements during magnetospheric disturbances, SAPS location, intensity, and characteristics are greatly influenced by the underlying ionosphere. Strong M-I coupling by means of field-aligned currents creates a high-speed (>1000 m/s) westward plasma flow channel in the ionosphere at pre-midnight/post-noon local times which is readily observable by incoherent scatter [2] and HF radars and in plasma drift observations by low-altitude spacecraft (e.g. DMSP). The fast ionospheric flows generate E-region irregularities providing for addition. . .
Date: 08/2014 Publisher: IEEE DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929852 Available at:
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Authors: Agapitov O. V., Artemyev A. V., Mourenas D., Kasahara Y., and Krasnoselskikh V.
Title: Inner belt and slot region electron lifetimes and energization rates based on AKEBONO statistics of whistler waves
Abstract: Global statistics of the amplitude distributions of hiss, lightning-generated, and other whistler mode waves from terrestrial VLF transmitters have been obtained from the EXOS-D (Akebono) satellite in the Earth's plasmasphere and fitted as functions of L and latitude for two geomagnetic activity ranges (Kp<3 and Kp>3). In particular, the present study focuses on the inner zone L∈[1.4,2] where reliable in situ measurements were lacking. Such statistics are critically needed for an accurate assessment of the role and relative dominance of each type of wave in the dynamics of the inner radiation belt. While VLF waves seem to propagate mainly in a ducted mode at L∼1.5–3 for Kp<3, they appear to be substantially unducted during more disturbed periods (Kp>3). Hiss waves are generally the m. . .
Date: 04/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 2876 - 2893 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.410.1002/2014JA019886 Available at:
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Authors: Su Zhenpeng, Zhu Hui, Xiao Fuliang, Zheng Huinan, Wang Yuming, et al.
Title: Intense duskside lower band chorus waves observed by Van Allen Probes: Generation and potential acceleration effect on radiation belt electrons
Abstract: Local acceleration driven by whistler mode chorus waves largely accounts for the enhancement of radiation belt relativistic electron fluxes, whose favored region is usually considered to be the plasmatrough with magnetic local time approximately from midnight through dawn to noon. On 2 October 2013, the Van Allen Probes recorded a rarely reported event of intense duskside lower band chorus waves (with power spectral density up to 10−3nT2/Hz) in the low-latitude region outside of L=5. Such chorus waves are found to be generated by the substorm-injected anisotropic suprathermal electrons and have a potentially strong acceleration effect on the radiation belt energetic electrons. This event study demonstrates the possibility of broader spatial regions with effective electron acceleration by. . .
Date: 06/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 4266 - 4273 DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.610.1002/2014JA019919 Available at:
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Authors: Hao Y. X., Zong Q.-G., Wang Y. F., Zhou X.-Z., Zhang Hui, et al.
Title: Interactions of energetic electrons with ULF waves triggered by interplanetary shock: Van Allen Probes observations in the magnetotail
Abstract: We present in situ observations of a shock-induced substorm-like event on 13 April 2013 observed by the newly launched Van Allen twin probes. Substorm-like electron injections with energy of 30–500 keV were observed in the region from L∼5.2 to 5.5 immediately after the shock arrival (followed by energetic electron drift echoes). Meanwhile, the electron flux was clearly and strongly varying on the ULF wave time scale. It is found that both toroidal and poloidal mode ULF waves with a period of 150 s emerged following the magnetotail magnetic field reconfiguration after the interplanetary (IP) shock passage. The poloidal mode is more intense than the toroidal mode. The 90° phase shift between the poloidal mode Br and Ea suggests the standing poloidal waves in the Northern Hemisphere. F. . .
Date: 10/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020023 Available at:
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Authors: Li Zan, Millan Robyn M., Hudson Mary K, Woodger Leslie A., Smith David M., et al.
Title: Investigation of EMIC wave scattering as the cause for the BARREL January 17, 2013 relativistic electron precipitation event: a quantitative comparison of simulation with observations
Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves were observed at multiple observatory locations for several hours on 17 January 2013. During the wave activity period, a duskside relativistic electron precipitation (REP) event was observed by one of the BARREL balloons, and was magnetically mapped close to GOES-13. We simulate the relativistic electron pitch-angle diffusion caused by gyroresonant interactions with EMIC waves using wave and particle data measured by multiple instruments on board GOES-13 and the Van Allen Probes. We show that the count rate, the energy distribution and the time variation of the simulated precipitation all agree very well with the balloon observations, suggesting that EMIC wave scattering was likely the cause for the precipitation event. The event reported here is . . .
Date: 12/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062273 Available at:
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Authors: Mauk Barry H., Sibeck David G., and Kessel Ramona L.
Title: Journal Special Collection Explores Early Results From the Van Allen Probes Mission
Abstract: The processes governing the charged particle populations in the radiation belts encircling Earth have been the subject of intense interest and increasing concern since their discovery by James Van Allen and his team more than 50 years ago [Baker et al., 2013]. Intense interest continues because we still do not know how the various processes work in concert to enhance, remove, and transport particle radiation. Concern is ongoing because the Van Allen radiation belts pose hazards to astronauts and our ever-growing fleet of spacecraft with increasingly sensitive components.
Date: 04/2014 Publisher: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union Pages: 112 - 112 DOI: 10.1002/eost.v95.1310.1002/2014EO130007 Available at:
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Authors: Mazur J E, O'Brien T P, Looper M D, and Blake J B
Title: Large anisotropies of >60 MeV protons throughout the inner belt observed with the Van Allen Probes mission
Abstract: We report large directional anisotropies of >60 MeV protons using instrumentation on the Van Allen Probes. The combination of a spinning satellite and measurements from the Relativistic Proton Spectrometer instruments that are insensitive to protons outside the instrument field of view together yield a new look at proton radial gradients. The relatively large proton gyroradius at 60 MeV couples with the radial gradients to produce large (maximum ~10:1) flux anisotropies depending on (i) whether the proton guiding center was above or below the Van Allen Probes spacecraft and (ii) the sign of the local flux gradient. In addition to these newly measured anisotropies, below ~2000 km we report a new effect of systematically changing minimum altitude on some proton drift shells that furthe. . .
Date: 06/2014 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 3738 - 3743 DOI: 10.1002/grl.v41.1110.1002/2014GL060029 Available at:
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Authors: Posner A., Hesse M, and Cyr O. C. St.
Title: The main pillar: Assessment of space weather observational asset performance supporting nowcasting, forecasting, and research to operations
Abstract: Space weather forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore particularly important to understand how existing and newly planned observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. Extreme space weather creates challenging conditions under which instrumentation and spacecraft may be impeded or in which parameters reach values that are outside the nominal observational range. This paper analyzes existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations. A single limitation to the assessment is lack of information provided to us on radiation monitor performance, which caused us not to fully assess (i.e., not as. . .
Date: 04/2014 Publisher: Space Weather Pages: 257 - 276 DOI: 10.1002/swe.v12.410.1002/2013SW001007 Available at:
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Authors: Li Zhao, Hudson Mary, Jaynes Allison, Boyd Alexander, Malaspina David, et al.
Title: Modeling Gradual Diffusion Changes in Radiation Belt Electron Phase Space Density for the March 2013 Van Allen Probes Case Study
Abstract: March 2013 provided the first equinoctial period when all of the instruments on the Van Allen Probes spacecraft were fully operational. This interval was characterized by disturbances of outer zone electrons with two timescales of variation, diffusive and rapid dropout and restoration [Baker et al., 2014]. A radial diffusion model was applied to the month-long interval to confirm that electron phase space density is well described by radial diffusion for the whole month at low first invariant ≤400 MeV/G, but peaks in phase space density observed by the ECT instrument suite at higher first invariant are not reproduced by radial transport from a source at higher L. The model does well for much of the month-long interval, capturing three of four enhancements in phase space density which e. . .
Date: 10/2014 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020359 Available at:
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