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A Summary of the BARREL Campaigns: Technique for studying electron precipitation

The Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) studies the loss of energetic electrons from Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. BARREL\textquoterights array of slowly drifting balloon payloads was designed to capitalize on magnetic conjunctions with NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes. Two campaigns were conducted from Antarctica in 2013 and 2014. During the first campaign in January and February of 2013, there were three moderate geomagnetic storms with Sym-Hmin < -40 nT. Similarly, two minor geomagnetic storms occurred during the second campaign, starting in December of 2013 and continuing on into February of 2014. Throughout the two campaigns, BARREL observed electron precipitation over a wide range of energies and exhibiting temporal structure from 100\textquoterights of milliseconds to hours. Relativistic electron precipitation was observed in the dusk to midnight sector, and microburst precipitation was primarily observed near dawn. In this paper we review the two BARREL science campaigns and discuss the data products and analysis techniques as applied to relativistic electron precipitation observed on 19 January 2013.

Woodger, L.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Smith, D.; Bowers, G.; Sample, J.; Anderson, B.; Liang, X.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020874

electron precipitation; event timing; gamma ray burst; multi-point observation; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; x-ray spectroscopy


The Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL)

BARREL is a multiple-balloon investigation designed to study electron losses from Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts. Selected as a NASA Living with a Star Mission of Opportunity, BARREL augments the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission by providing measurements of relativistic electron precipitation with a pair of Antarctic balloon campaigns that will be conducted during the Austral summers (January-February) of 2013 and 2014. During each campaign, a total of 20 small (\~20 kg) stratospheric balloons will be successively launched to maintain an array of \~5 payloads spread across \~6 hours of magnetic local time in the region that magnetically maps to the radiation belts. Each balloon carries an X-ray spectrometer to measure the bremsstrahlung X-rays produced by precipitating relativistic electrons as they collide with neutrals in the atmosphere, and a DC magnetometer to measure ULF-timescale variations of the magnetic field. BARREL will provide the first balloon measurements of relativistic electron precipitation while comprehensive in situ measurements of both plasma waves and energetic particles are available, and will characterize the spatial scale of precipitation at relativistic energies. All data and analysis software will be made freely available to the scientific community.

Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Sample, J.; Smith, D.; Thompson, L.; McGaw, D.; Woodger, L.; Hewitt, J.; Comess, M.; Yando, K.; Liang, A.; Anderson, B.; Knezek, N.; Rexroad, W.; Scheiman, J.; Bowers, G.; Halford, A.; Collier, A.; Clilverd, M.; Lin, R.; Hudson, M.;

Published by: Space Science Reviews      Published on: 11/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-9971-z

RBSP; Van Allen Probes