A novel technique for rapid L* calculation using UBK coordinates

Author
Keywords
Abstract
[1] The magnetic drift invariant (L*) is an important quantity used for tracking and organizing particle dynamics in the radiation belts, but its accurate calculation has been computationally expensive in the past, thus making it difficult to employ this quantity in real-time space weather applications. In this paper, we propose a new, efficient method to calculate L* using the principle of energy conservation. This method uses Whipple\textquoterights (U, B, K) coordinates to quickly and accurately determine trajectories of particles at the magnetic mirror point from two-dimensional isoenergy contours. The method works for any magnetic field configuration and is able to accommodate constant electric potential along field lines. We compare the result of this method with those of International Radiation Belt Environment Modeling library (IRBEM-LIB) to demonstrate the performance of this new method. The method requires a preparation step, and thus may not be the optimal method for a single trajectory calculation; however, it presents a huge performance gain when adiabatically propagating a large population of particles in a given magnetic field configuration.
Year of Publication
2013
Journal
Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume
118
Date Published
01/2013
DOI
10.1029/2012JA018177