Understanding the Driver of Energetic Electron Precipitation Using Coordinated Multisatellite Measurements
Magnetospheric plasma waves play a significant role in ring current and radiation belt dynamics, leading to pitch angle scattering loss and/or stochastic acceleration of the particles. During a non-storm time dropout event on 24 September 2013, intense electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves were detected by Van Allen Probe A (Radiation Belt Storm Probes-A). We quantitatively analyze a conjunction event when Van Allen Probe A was located approximately along the same magnetic field line as MetOp-01, which detected simultaneous precipitation of >30 keV protons and energetic electrons over an unexpectedly broad energy range (>~30 keV). Multipoint observations together with quasi-linear theory provide direct evidence that the observed electron precipitation at higher energy (>~700 keV) is primarily driven by EMIC waves. However, the newly observed feature of the simultaneous electron precipitation extending down to ~30 keV is not supported by existing theories and raises an interesting question on whether EMIC waves can scatter such low-energy electrons.
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Geophysical Research Letters