Simultaneous Radial and Pitch Angle Diffusion in the Outer Electron Radiation Belt

TitleSimultaneous Radial and Pitch Angle Diffusion in the Outer Electron Radiation Belt
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsChiu, YT, Nightingale, RW, Rinaldi, MA
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Pagination2619 - 2632
Date Published04/1988
KeywordsRadial Transport
AbstractA solution of the bimodal (radial and pitch angle) diffusion equation for the radiation belts is developed with special regard for the requirements of satellite radiation belt data analysis. In this paper, we use this solution to test the bimodal theory of outer electron belt diffusion by confronting it with satellite data. Satellite observations, usually over finite volumes of (L, t) space, are seldom sufficient in space-time duration to cover the relaxation to equilibrium of the entire radiation belt. Since time scales of continuous data coverage are often comparable to that of radiation belt disturbances, it is therefore inappropriate to apply impulsive semi-infinite time response solutions of diffusion theory to interpret data from a finite window of (L, t) space. Observational limitations indicate that appropriate solutions for the interpretation of satellite data are general solutions for a finite-volume boundary value problem in bimodal diffusion. Here we test such a solution as the prime candidate for comprehensive radiation belt dynamic modeling by applying the solution and developing a method of analysis to radiation belt electron data obtained by the SCATHA satellite at moderate geomagnetic activity. The results and the generality of our solution indicate its promise as a new approach to dynamic modeling of the radiation belts.

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