Electric and Magnetic Radial Diffusion Coefficients Using the Van Allen Probes Data

ULF waves are a common occurrence in the inner magnetosphere and they contribute to particle motion, significantly, at times. We used the magnetic and the electric field data from the EMFISIS and the EFW instruments on board the Van Allen Probes to estimate the ULF wave power in the compressional component of the magnetic field and the azimuthal component of the electric field, respectively. Using L*, Kp, and MLT as parameters, we conclude that the noon sector contains higher ULF Pc-5 wave power compared with the other MLT sectors. The dawn, dusk, and midnight sectors have no statistically significant difference between them. The drift-averaged power spectral densities are used to derive the magnetic and the electric component of the radial diffusion coefficient. Both components exhibit little to no energy dependence, resulting in simple analytic models for both components. More importantly, the electric component is larger than the magnetic component by one to two orders of magnitude for almost all L* and Kp; thus, the electric field perturbations are more effective in driving radial diffusion of charged particles in the inner magnetosphere. We also present a comparison of the Van Allen Probes radial diffusion coefficients, including the error estimates, with some of the previous published results. This allows us to gauge the large amount of uncertainty present in such estimates.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published