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Van Allen Probes
Authors: Sandhu J. K., Rae I. J., Freeman M. P., Gkioulidou M., Forsyth C., et al.
Title: Substorm‐Ring Current Coupling: A Comparison of Isolated and Compound Substorms
Abstract: Substorms are a highly variable process, which can occur as an isolated event or as part of a sequence of multiple substorms (compound substorms). In this study we identify how the low‐energy population of the ring current and subsequent energization varies for isolated substorms compared to the first substorm of a compound event. Using observations of H+ and O+ ions (1 eV to 50 keV) from the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron instrument onboard Van Allen Probe A, we determine the energy content of the ring current in L‐MLT space. We observe that the ring current energy content is significantly enhanced during compound substorms as compared to isolated substorms by ∼20–30%. Furthermore, we observe a significantly larger magnitude of energization (by ∼40–50%) following the onset of c. . .
Date: 08/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 6776 - 6791 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026766 Available at:
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Authors: Lotekar Ajay, Kakad Amar, and Kakad Bharati
Title: Formation of Asymmetric Electron Acoustic Double Layers in the Earth's Inner Magnetosphere
Abstract: The Van Allen Probes have observed both symmetric and asymmetric bipolar electric field structures in the Earth's inner magnetosphere. In general, the symmetric bipolar structures are identified as electron‐phase space holes, whereas the asymmetric structures are interpreted as electron acoustic double layers (EADLs). The generation mechanism of these EADLs is not entirely understood yet. We have modeled the EADLs observed on 13 November 2012 by Van Allen Probe‐B. We performed a fluid simulation of the EADLs and tracked their formation and evolution in the simulation. We found that the localized depletion and enhancement in the electron populations act as a perturbation to excite the symmetric bipolar electron acoustic solitary waves, which later evolve into the EADLs. The Ponderomotiv. . .
Date: 08/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 6896 - 6905 DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026303 Available at:
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Authors: Chen Huayue, Gao Xinliang, Lu Quanming, and Wang Shui
Title: Analyzing EMIC Waves in the Inner Magnetosphere Using Long‐Term Van Allen Probes Observations
Abstract: With 64‐month magnetic data from Van Allen Probes, we have studied not only the global distribution, wave normal angle (θ), and ellipticity (ε) of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, but also the dependence of their occurrence rates and magnetic amplitudes on the AE* index (the mean value of AE index over previous 1 hr). Our results show that H+ band waves are preferentially detected at 5 ≤ L ≤ 6.5, in the noon sector. They typically have small θ (<30°) and weakly left‐hand polarization but become more oblique and linearly polarized at larger magnetic latitudes or L‐shells. With the increase of AE* index, their occurrence rate significantly increases in the noon sector, and their source region extends to dusk sector. He+ band waves usually occur in the predawn and mor. . .
Date: 08/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7402 - 7412 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026965 Available at:
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Authors: Hua Man, Li Wen, Ma Qianli, Ni Binbin, Nishimura Yukitoshi, et al.
Title: Modeling the Electron Flux Enhancement and Butterfly Pitch Angle Distributions on L Shells <2.5
Abstract: We analyze an energetic electron flux enhancement event in the inner radiation belt observed by Van Allen Probes during an intense geomagnetic storm. The energetic electron flux at L~1.5 increased by a factor of 3 with pronounced butterfly pitch angle distributions (PADs). Using a three‐dimensional radiation belt model, we simulate the electron evolution under the impact of radial diffusion, local wave‐particle interactions including hiss, very low frequency transmitters, and magnetosonic waves, as well as Coulomb scattering. Consistency between observation and simulation suggests that inward radial diffusion plays a dominant role in accelerating electrons up to 900 keV and transporting the butterfly PADs from higher L shells to form the butterfly PADs at L~1.5. However, local wave‐p. . .
Date: 09/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 10967 - 10976 DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084822 Available at:
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Authors: Ferradas C. P., Jordanova V K, Reeves G D, and Larsen B A
Title: Comparison of Electron Loss Models in the Inner Magnetosphere During the 2013 St. Patrick's Day Geomagnetic Storm
Abstract: Electrons with energies in the keV range play an important role in the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere. Therefore, accurately modeling electron fluxes in this region is of great interest. However, these calculations constitute a challenging task since the lifetimes of electrons that are available have limitations. In this study, we simulate electron fluxes in the energy range of 20 eV to 100 keV to assess how well different electron loss models can account for the observed electron fluxes during the Geospace Environment Modelling Challenge Event of the 2013 St. Patrick's Day storm. Three models (Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3) of electron lifetimes due to wave‐induced pitch angle scattering are used to compute the fluxes, which are compared with measurements from the Van Allen Probes. Th. . .
Date: 09/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7872 - 7888 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026649 Available at:
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Authors: Menz A.M., Kistler L.M., Mouikis C.G., Matsui H., Spence H.E., et al.
Title: Efficacy of Electric Field Models in Reproducing Observed Ring Current Ion Spectra During Two Geomagnetic Storms
Abstract: We use the UNH‐IMEF, Weimer 1996, and Volland‐Stern electric field models along with a dipole magnetic field to calculate drift paths for particles that reach the Van Allen Probes' orbit for two inbound passes during two large geomagnetic storms. We compare the particle access in the models with the observed particle access using both realistic and enhanced solar wind model parameters. To test the accuracy of the drift paths, we estimate the H+ charge exchange loss along these drift paths. While increasing the strength of the model electric field drives particles further inward, improving agreement, energy‐dependent cutoffs in the spectra do not agree, indicating that potential patterns for highly disturbed times are inaccurate. While none of the mod. . .
Date: 09/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026683 Available at:
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Authors: Zhao H., Baker D.N., Li X, Malaspina D.M., Jaynes A.N., et al.
Title: On the Acceleration Mechanism of Ultrarelativistic Electrons in the Center of the Outer Radiation Belt: A Statistical Study
Abstract: Using energetic particle and wave measurements from the Van Allen Probes, Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), the acceleration mechanism of ultrarelativistic electrons (>3 MeV) in the center of the outer radiation belt is investigated statistically. A superposed epoch analysis is conducted using 19 storms, which caused flux enhancements of 1.8–7.7 MeV electrons. The evolution of electron phase space density radial profile suggests an energy‐dependent acceleration of ultrarelativistic electrons in the outer belt. Especially, for electrons with very high energies (~7 MeV), prevalent positive phase space density radial gradients support inward radial diffusion being responsible for electron acceleration in the cente. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027111 Available at:
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Authors: Mouikis C. G., Bingham S. T., Kistler L. M., Farrugia C. J., Spence H E, et al.
Title: The Storm‐Time Ring Current Response to ICMEs and CIRs Using Van Allen Probe Observations
Abstract: Using Van Allen Probe observations of the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms driven by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and corotating interaction regions (CIRs), we characterize the impact of these drivers on the storm‐time ring current development. Using 25 ICME‐ and 35 CIR‐driven storms, we have determined the ring current pressure development during the prestorm, main, early‐recovery, and late‐recovery storm phases, as a function of magnetic local time, L shell and ion species (H+, He+, and O+) over the 100‐ to 600‐keV energy range. Consistent with previous results, we find that during the storm main phase, most of the ring current pressure in the inner magnetosphere is contributed by particles on open drift paths drifting duskward leading to a str. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026695 Available at:
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Authors: Boyd A. J., Reeves G D, Spence H E, Funsten H O, Larsen B A, et al.
Title: RBSP‐ECT Combined Spin‐Averaged Electron Flux Data Product
Abstract: We describe a new data product combining the spin‐averaged electron flux measurements from the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Energetic Particle Composition and Thermal Plasma (ECT) suite on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Van Allen Probes. We describe the methodology used to combine each of the data sets and produce a consistent set of spectra for September 2013 to the present. Three‐minute‐averaged flux spectra are provided spanning energies from 15 eV up to 20 MeV. This new data product provides additional utility to the ECT data and offers a consistent cross calibrated data set for researchers interested in examining the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere across a wide range of energies.
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026733 Available at:
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Authors: Watt C. E. J., Allison H. J., Meredith N P, Thompson R. L., Bentley S. N., et al.
Title: Variability of Quasilinear Diffusion Coefficients for Plasmaspheric Hiss
Abstract: In the outer radiation belt, the acceleration and loss of high‐energy electrons is largely controlled by wave‐particle interactions. Quasilinear diffusion coefficients are an efficient way to capture the small‐scale physics of wave‐particle interactions due to magnetospheric wave modes such as plasmaspheric hiss. The strength of quasilinear diffusion coefficients as a function of energy and pitch angle depends on both wave parameters and plasma parameters such as ambient magnetic field strength, plasma number density, and composition. For plasmaspheric hiss in the magnetosphere, observations indicate large variations in the wave intensity and wave normal angle, but less is known about the simultaneous variability of the magnetic field and number density. We use in situ measurements. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026401 Available at:
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Authors: Yang Bing, Donovan Eric, Liang Jun, Ruohoniemi Michael, McWilliams Kathryn, et al.
Title: Storm-time convection dynamics viewed from optical auroras
Abstract: A series of statistical and event studies have demonstrated that the motion of patches in regions of Patchy Pulsating Aurora (PPA) is very close to, if not exactly, convection. Therefore, 2D maps of PPA motion provide us the opportunity to remotely sense magnetospheric convection with relatively high space and time resolution, subject to uncertainties associated with the mapping between the ionosphere and magnetosphere. In this study, we use THEMIS ASI (All Sky Imager) aurora observations combined with RBSP electric field and magnetic field measurements to explore convection dynamics during storm time. From 0500 UT to 0600 UT on March 19 2015, auroral observations across ~4 h of magnetic local time (MLT) show that increases in the westward velocities of patches are closely related to ear. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Pages: 105088 DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2019.105088 Available at:
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Authors: Wang G., Zhang T. L., Gao Z. L., Wu M. Y., Wang G. Q., et al.
Title: Propagation of EMIC Waves Inside the Plasmasphere: A Two‐Event Study
Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are important for the loss of high‐energy electrons in the radiation belt. Based on the measurements of Van Allen Probes, two events during the same storm period are presented to study the propagation of EMIC waves. In the first event, left‐handed polarized EMIC waves were observed near the plasmapause, while right‐handed waves were observed in the inner plasmasphere. The Poynting flux of the right‐hand waves was mainly directed inward and equatorward, and no positive growth rates were obtained in the region of these right‐hand waves, indicating the inward propagation of the waves from a higher L‐shell. In the second event, the wave vectors were quasi‐perpendicular to the background magnetic field inside the plasmaspheric plume but b. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027055 Available at:
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Authors: Ren Jie, Zong Q. G., Zhou X. Z., Spence H E, Funsten H O, et al.
Title: Cold Plasmaspheric Electrons Affected by ULF Waves in the Inner Magnetosphere: A Van Allen Probes Statistical Study
Abstract: Six years of Van Allen Probes data are used to investigate cold plasmaspheric electrons affected by ultralow‐frequency (ULF) waves in the inner magnetosphere (L<7) including spatial distributions, occurrence conditions, and resonant energy range. Events exhibit a global distribution within L= 4–7 but preferentially occur at L∼5.5–7 in the dayside, while there is higher occurrence rate in the duskside than dawnside. They can occur under different geomagnetic activities and solar wind velocities (VS), but the occurrence rates are increasing with larger AE, |SYMH|, and VS. These features are closely associated with the generation and propagation of ULF waves in Pc4 (45–150 s) and Pc5 (150–600 s) bands. Combined with electron observations from HOPE instrument, the resonant energies. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 7954 - 7965 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027009 Available at:
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Authors: Teng Shangchun, Li Wen, Tao Xin, Ma Qianli, and Shen Xiaochen
Title: Characteristics and Generation of Low‐Frequency Magnetosonic Waves Below the Proton Gyrofrequency
Abstract: We report a Van Allen Probes observation of large‐amplitude magnetosonic waves with the peak intensity below the proton gyrofrequency (fcp), which may potentially be misinterpreted as electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. The frequency spacing of the wave harmonic structure suggests that these magnetosonic waves are excited at a distant source region and propagate radially inward. We also conduct a statistical analysis of low‐frequency magnetosonic waves below fcp based on the Van Allen Probes data from October 2012 to December 2018. The spatial distribution shows that these low‐frequency magnetosonic emissions are dominantly observed inside the plasmasphere from the prenoon to the midnight sector within 5° of the geomagnetic equator and typically have modest‐to‐strong wave ampli. . .
Date: 10/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 11652 - 11660 DOI: 10.1029/2019GL085372 Available at:
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Authors: Teramoto M., Hori T., Saito S., Miyoshi Y, Kurita S., et al.
Title: Remote Detection of Drift Resonance Between Energetic Electrons and Ultralow Frequency Waves: Multisatellite Coordinated Observation by Arase and Van Allen Probes
Abstract: We report the electron flux modulations without corresponding magnetic fluctuations from unique multipoint satellite observations of the Arase (Exploration of Energization and Radiation in Geospace) and the Van Allen Probe (Radiation Belt Storm Probe [RBSP])‐B satellites. On 30 March 2017, both Arase and RBSP‐B observed periodic fluctuations in the relativistic electron flux with energies ranging from 500 keV to 2 MeV when they were located near the magnetic equator in the morning and dusk local time sectors, respectively. Arase did not observe Pc5 pulsations, while they were observed by RBSP‐B. The clear dispersion signature of the relativistic electron fluctuations observed by Arase indicates that the source region is limited to the postnoon to the dusk sector. This is confirmed by. . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 11642 - 11651 DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084379 Available at:
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Authors: Khoo L.‐Y., Li X, Zhao H., Chu X., Xiang Z., et al.
Title: How Sudden, Intense Energetic Electron Enhancements Correlate With the Innermost Plasmapause Locations Under Various Solar Wind Drivers and Geomagnetic Conditions
Abstract: In this report, the relationship between innermost plasmapause locations (Lpp) and initial electron enhancements during both storm and nonstorm (Dst > −30 nT) periods are examined using data from the Van Allen Probes. The geomagnetic storms are classified into coronal mass ejection (CME)‐driven and corotating interaction region (CIR)‐driven storms to explore their influences on the initial electron enhancements, respectively. We also study nonstorm time electron enhancements and observe frequent, sudden (within two consecutive orbital passes) <400‐keV electron enhancements during quiet periods. Our analysis reveals an incredibly cohesive observation that holds regardless of electron energies (~30 keV–2.5 MeV) or geomagnetic conditions: the innermost Lpp is the innermost boundary . . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027412 Available at:
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Authors: Drozdov A. Y., Aseev N., Effenberger F., Turner D. L., Saikin A., et al.
Title: Storm Time Depletions of Multi‐MeV Radiation Belt Electrons Observed at Different Pitch Angles
Abstract: During geomagnetic storms, the rapid depletion of the high‐energy (several MeV) outer radiation belt electrons is the result of loss to the interplanetary medium through the magnetopause, outward radial diffusion, and loss to the atmosphere due to wave‐particle interactions. We have performed a statistical study of 110 storms using pitch angle resolved electron flux measurements from the Van Allen Probes mission and found that inside of the radiation belt (L* = 3 − 5) the number of storms that result in depletion of electrons with equatorial pitch angle αeq = 30∘ is higher than number of storms that result in depletion of electrons with equatorial pitch angle αeq = 75∘. We conclude that this result is consistent with electron scattering by whistler and electromagnetic ion cyclo. . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027332 Available at:
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Authors: Chu Xiangning, Malaspina David, Gallardo‐Lacourt Bea, Liang Jun, Andersson Laila, et al.
Title: Identifying STEVE's Magnetospheric Driver Using Conjugate Observations in the Magnetosphere and on the Ground
Abstract: The magnetospheric driver of strong thermal emission velocity enhancement (STEVE) is investigated using conjugate observations when Van Allen Probes' footprint directly crossed both STEVE and stable red aurora (SAR) arc. In the ionosphere, STEVE is associated with subauroral ion drift features, including electron temperature peak, density gradient, and westward ion flow. The SAR arc at lower latitudes corresponds to regions inside the plasmapause with isotropic plasma heating, which causes redline‐only SAR emission via heat conduction. STEVE corresponds to the sharp plasmapause boundary containing quasi‐static subauroral ion drift electric field and parallel‐accelerated electrons by kinetic Alfvén waves. These parallel electrons could precipitate and be accelerated via auroral accel. . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082789 Available at:
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Authors: Yamamoto K., Nosé M., Keika K, Hartley D.P., Smith C.W., et al.
Title: Eastward Propagating Second Harmonic Poloidal Waves Triggered by Temporary Outward Gradient of Proton Phase Space Density: Van Allen Probe A Observation
Abstract: Two wave packets of second harmonic poloidal Pc 4 waves with a wave frequency of ~7 mHz were detected by Van Allen Probe A at a radial distance of ~5.8 RE and magnetic local time of 13 hr near the magnetic equator, where plasmaspheric refilling was in progress. Proton butterfly distributions with energy dispersions were also measured at the same time; the proton fluxes at 10‐30 keV oscillated with the same frequency as the Pc 4 waves. Using the ion sounding technique, we find that the Pc 4 waves propagated eastward with an azimuthal wave number (m number) of ~220 and ~260 for each wave packet, respectively. Such eastward propagating high‐m (m > 100) waves were seldom reported in previous studies. The condition of drift‐bounce resonance is well satisfied for the estimated m numbers in. . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027158 Available at:
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Authors: Capannolo L., Li W, Ma Q, Chen L, Shen X.‐C., et al.
Title: Direct Observation of Subrelativistic Electron Precipitation Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves
Abstract: Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are known to typically cause electron losses into Earth's upper atmosphere at >~1 MeV, while the minimum energy of electrons subject to efficient EMIC‐driven precipitation loss is unresolved. This letter reports electron precipitation from subrelativistic energies of ~250 keV up to ~1 MeV observed by the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD‐II) CubeSats, while two Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) observed proton precipitation nearby. Van Allen Probe A detected EMIC waves (~0.7–2.0 nT) over the similar L shell extent of electron precipitation observed by FIREBIRD‐II, albeit with a ~1.6 magnetic local time (MLT) difference. Although plasmaspheric hiss and magnetosonic . . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084202 Available at:
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Authors: Menz A.M., Kistler L.M., Mouikis C.G., Spence H.E., and Henderson M.G.
Title: Effects of a Realistic O + Source on Modeling the Ring Current
Abstract: We use the UNH‐IMEF electric field model to simulate the convection of O+ from the near‐earth plasma sheet into the ring current during the March 17, 2015 storm. Using Van Allen Probes data from the night side apogee, we reconstruct a realistic O+ source. Modeling this storm using the UNH‐IMEF electric field and a dipole magnetic field has previously been found to have good agreement. Using the realistic source along with drift times and charge exchange loss from these results, we model an inbound pass near the peak of the storm where O+ is increasingly dominant over H+. We find that the time‐varying realistic O+ source is necessary to reproduce the observed spectral features and the O+ pressure enhancements at low L‐shells, while our previous results showed that the H+ was able . . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026859 Available at:
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Authors: Li W, and Hudson M.K.
Title: Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts: From Discovery to the Van Allen Probes Era
Abstract: Discovery of the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts by instruments flown on Explorer 1 in 1958 was the first major discovery of the Space Age. The observation of distinct inner and outer zones of trapped megaelectron volt (MeV) particles, primarily protons at low altitude and electrons at high altitude, led to early models for source and loss mechanisms including Cosmic Ray Albedo Neutron Decay for inner zone protons, radial diffusion for outer zone electrons and loss to the atmosphere due to pitch angle scattering. This scattering lowers the mirror altitude for particles in their bounce motion parallel to the Earth's magnetic field until they suffer collisional loss. A view of the belts as quasi‐static inner and outer zones of energetic particles with different sources was modified by ob. . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025940 Available at:
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Authors: Baker D.N., Zhao H., Li X, Kanekal S.G., Jaynes A.N., et al.
Title: Comparison of Van Allen Probes Energetic Electron Data with Corresponding GOES‐15 Measurements: 2012‐2018
Abstract: Electron fluxes (especially at energies E > 0.8 and >2 MeV) have been measured for many years by sensors on board the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). These long‐term data (nominally at L~6.6) have become a mainstay for monitoring the Earth's radiation environment. We have carried out a study directly comparing the comprehensive radiation belt particle measurements from the NASA dual‐spacecraft Van Allen Probes (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) sensor systems with selected GOES operational data. The Van Allen Probes have measured the properties of radiation belt electrons virtually continuously from September 2012 through 2018. We make statistical comparisons of Van Allen Probes electron data near L=6 with concurrent daily averages of equivalent GOES‐15 flux . . .
Date: 11/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027331 Available at:
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Authors: Zhu Hui, and Chen Lunjin
Title: On the Observation of Electrostatic Harmonics Associated With EMIC Waves
Abstract: In this study, we report two events of electrostatic harmonics associated with electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves recorded by the Van Allen Probes. Based on the wave and plasma measurements, the wave features are investigated and the possible generation mechanism is discussed. The frequencies of these electrostatic emissions are at the integer and fractional frequencies of the fundamental EMIC waves, which can be across and above the local proton gyrofrequencies. When the frequencies increase, the electric power spectral densities of the electrostatic waves decrease, and their durations become shorter. Considering the bidirectional propagation of the fundamental EMIC waves, we propose that wave‐wave resonance probably accounts for the generation of the observed electrostatic emis. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters Pages: 14274 - 14281 DOI: 10.1029/2019GL085528 Available at:
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Authors: Ma Q, Li W, Bortnik J, Kletzing C A, Kurth W S, et al.
Title: Global Survey and Empirical Model of Fast Magnetosonic Waves Over Their Full Frequency Range in Earth's Inner Magnetosphere
Abstract: We investigate the global distribution and provide empirical models of fast magnetosonic waves using the combined observations by the magnetometer and waveform receiver on board Van Allen Probes. The magnetometer measurements of magnetosonic waves indicate a significant wave power within the frequency range from the helium gyrofrequency to 20 Hz at L ≥ 4 in the afternoon sector, both inside and outside the plasmapause. The waveform receiver measurements indicate a significant wave power from 20 Hz to the lower hybrid resonance frequency at L ≤ 5.5 near the dayside outside the plasmapause or in the afternoon sector inside the plasmapause. The sum of the wave powers from the two instruments provides the wave power distribution over the complete frequency range. The most significant root. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 10270 - 10282 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027407 Available at:
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Authors: Li L.Y., Yang S.S., Cao J.B., Yu J., Luo X.Y., et al.
Title: Effects of Solar Wind Plasma Flow and Interplanetary Magnetic Field on the Spatial Structure of Earth's Radiation Belts
Abstract: Based on the statistical data measured by Van Allen Probes from 2012 to 2016, we analyzed the effects of solar wind plasma flow and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on the spatial distribution of Earth's radiation belt electrons (>100 keV). The statistical results indicate that the increases in solar wind plasma density and flow speed can exert different effects on the spatial structure of the radiation belts. The high solar wind plasma density (>6 cm−3)/flow pressure (>2.5 nPa) and a large southward IMF (Bz < −6 nT) usually appear in the front of high‐speed solar wind streams (> 450 km/s), and they tend to narrow the outer radiation belt but broaden the slot region. In contrast, the increase in solar wind flow speed can broaden the outer radiation belt but narrows the slot region. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics Pages: 10332 - 10344 DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027284 Available at:
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Authors: Pandya Megha, Bhaskara Veenadhari, Ebihara Yusuke, Kanekal Shrikanth G, and Baker Daniel N
Title: Evolution of Pitch Angle‐Distributed Megaelectron Volt Electrons During Each Phase of the Geomagnetic Storm
Abstract: Using Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope measurements onboard Van Allen Probes, the evolution of electron pitch angle distributions (PADs) during the different phases of magnetic storms is studied. Electron fluxes are sorted in terms of storm phase, urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra55457:jgra55457-math-0001 value, energy, and magnetic local time (MLT) sectors for 55 magnetic storms from October 2012 through May 2017. To understand the potential mechanisms for the evolution of electron PADs, we fit PADs to a sinusoidal function urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra55457:jgra55457-math-0002, where urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra55457:jgra55457-math-0003 is the equatorial pitch angle and n is a real number. The major inferences from our study are (i) at L urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra55457:jgra55457-math-00045. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027086 Available at:
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Authors: Ripoll Jean‐Francois, Claudepierre Seth, Ukhorskiy Sasha, Colpitts Chris, Li Xinlin, et al.
Title: Particle Dynamics in the Earth's Radiation Belts: Review of Current Research and Open Questions
Abstract: The past decade transformed our observational understanding of energetic particle processes in near‐Earth space. An unprecedented suite of observational systems were in operation including the Van Allen Probes, Arase, MMS, THEMIS, Cluster, GPS, GOES, and LANL‐GEO magnetospheric missions. They were supported by conjugate low‐altitude measurements on spacecraft, balloons, and ground‐based arrays. Together these significantly improved our ability to determine and quantify the mechanisms that control the build‐up and subsequent variability of energetic particle intensities in the inner magnetosphere. The high‐quality data from NASA's Van Allen Probes are the most comprehensive in‐situ measurements ever taken in the near‐Earth space radiation environment. These observations, cou. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026735 Available at:
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Authors: Takahashi Kazue, Vellante Massimo, Del Corpo Alfredo, Claudepierre Seth G., Kletzing Craig, et al.
Title: Multiharmonic Toroidal Standing Alfvén Waves in the Midnight Sector Observed During a Geomagnetically Quiet Period
Abstract: Excitation of toroidal mode standing Alfvén waves in the midnight sector of the inner magnetosphere in association with substorms is well documented, but studies are sparse on dayside sources for the waves. This paper reports observation of midnight toroidal waves by the Van Allen Probe B spacecraft during a geomagnetically quiet period on 12—13 May 2013. The spacecraft detected toroidal waves excited at odd harmonics below 30 mHz as it moved within the plasmasphere from ~2100 magnetic local time (MLT) to ~0030 MLT through midnight in the dipole L range 4.2—6.1. The frequencies and the relationship between the electric and magnetic field components of the waves are consistent with theoretical toroidal waves for a reflecting ionosphere. At the time of the nightside toroidal waves, comp. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027370 Available at:
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Authors: Zhu Hui, Chen Lunjin, Claudepierre Seth G., and Zheng Liheng
Title: Direct evidence of the pitch angle scattering of relativistic electrons induced by EMIC waves
Abstract: In this study, we analyze an EMIC wave event of rising tone elements recorded by the Van Allen Probes. The pitch angle distributions of relativistic electrons exhibit a direct response to the two elements of EMIC waves: at the intermediate pitch angle the fluxes are lower and at the low pitch angle the fluxes are higher than those when no EMIC was observed. In particular, the observed changes in the pitch angle distributions are most likely to be caused by nonlinear wave particle interaction. The calculation of the minimum resonant energy and a test particle simulation based on the observed EMIC waves support the role of the nonlinear wave‐particle interaction in the pitch angle scattering. This study provides direct evidence for the nonlinear pitch angle scattering of electrons by EMIC . . .
Date: 01/2020 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1029/2019GL085637 Available at:
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Authors: Liu Nigang, Su Zhenpeng, Gao Zhonglei, Zheng Huinan, Wang Yuming, et al.
Title: Comprehensive Observations of Substorm‐Enhanced Plasmaspheric Hiss Generation, Propagation, and Dissipation
Abstract: Plasmaspheric hiss is an important whistler‐mode emission shaping the Van Allen radiation belt environment. How the plasmaspheric hiss waves are generated, propagate, and dissipate remains under intense debate. With the five spacecraft of Van Allen Probes, Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (Arase), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites missions at widely spaced locations, we present here the first comprehensive observations of hiss waves growing from the substorm‐injected electron instability, spreading within the plasmasphere, and dissipating over a large spatial scale. During substorms, hot electrons were injected energy‐dispersively into the plasmasphere near the dawnside and, probably through a combination of linear and nonlinear cyclotron res. . .
Date: 01/2020 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1029/2019GL086040 Available at:
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Authors: Jahn J.‐M., Goldstein J, Kurth W.S., Thaller S., De Pascuale S., et al.
Title: Determining plasmaspheric density from the upper hybrid resonance and from the spacecraft potential: How do they compare?
Abstract: The plasmasphere is a critical region of the magnetosphere. It is important for the evolution of Earth's radiation belts. Waves in the plasmasphere interior (hiss) and vicinity (EMIC, chorus) help control the acceleration and loss of radiation belt particles. Thus, understanding the extent, structure, content, and dynamics of the plasmasphere is crucial to understanding radiation belt losses. The Van Allen Probes mission uses two methods to determine the total plasma density. First, the upper hybrid resonance (UHR) frequency can provide electron density; this determination is the most accurate and robust. However, it requires significant analysis and is challenging during geomagnetically active times: it becomes difficult to interpret the wave spectrum, and the amount of available data is . . .
Date: 01/2020 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026860 Available at:
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Authors: Yue Chao, Bortnik Jacob, Zou Shasha, Nishimura Yukitoshi, Foster John C., et al.
Title: Episodic Occurrence of Field‐Aligned Energetic Ions on the Dayside
Abstract: The tens of kiloelectron volt ions observed in the ring current region at L ~ 3–7 generally have pancake pitch angle distributions, that is, peaked at 90°. However, in this study, by using the Van Allen Probe observations on the dayside, unexpectedly, we have found that about 5% time, protons with energies of ~30 to 50 keV show two distinct populations, having an additional field‐aligned population overlapping with the original pancake population. The newly appearing field‐aligned populations have higher occurrence rates at ~12–16 magnetic local time during geomagnetically active times. In particular, we have studied eight such events in detail and found that the source regions are located around 12 to 18 magnetic local time which coincides with our statistical result. Based on th. . .
Date: 01/2020 Publisher: Geophysical Research Letters DOI: 10.1029/2019GL086384 Available at:
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