High-energy radiation belt electrons from CRAND

Author
Keywords
Abstract
A calculation of the inner radiation belt electron source from cosmic ray albedo neutron decay (CRAND) is described. High-energy electrons are included by Lorentz-transforming the β decay spectrum from the neutron rest frame to the Earth\textquoterights rest frame and combining with the known high-energy albedo neutron energy spectrum. Balancing the electron source with energy loss to atmospheric neutral atoms and plasma, and with a decay lifetime representative of plasma wave scattering, then provides an estimate of trapped electron intensity. It is well below measured values for low energies, confirming that CRAND is not a significant source of those trapped electrons. For kinetic energies above the maximum β decay energy (E > 0.8 MeV) a power law energy spectrum \~E-4 is predicted. For L = 1.5 and inline image MeV the computed omnidirectional trapped electron intensity exceeds an extrapolation of the measured low-energy exponential energy spectrum.
Year of Publication
2015
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published
03/2015
URL
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2014JA020963
DOI
10.1002/2014JA020963