Energetic, relativistic and ultra-relativistic electrons: Comparison of long-term VERB code simulations with Van Allen Probes measurements
In this study, we compare long-term simulations performed by the Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code with observations from the MagEIS and REPT instruments on the Van Allen Probes satellites. The model takes into account radial, energy, pitch-angle and mixed diffusion, losses into the atmosphere, and magnetopause shadowing. We consider the energetic (>100 keV), relativistic (~0.5-1 MeV) and ultra-relativistic (>2 MeV) electrons. One year of relativistic electron measurements (μ=700 MeV/G) from October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013, are well reproduced by the simulation during varying levels of geomagnetic activity. However, for ultra-relativistic energies (μ=3500 MeV/G), the VERB code simulation overestimates electron fluxes and Phase Space Density. These results indicate that an additional loss mechanism is operational and efficient for these high energies. The most likely mechanism for explaining the observed loss at ultra-relativistic energies is scattering by the Electro-Magnetic Ion Cyclotron waves.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics