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Found 11 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 11


Correlations Between Dispersive Alfvén Wave Activity, Electron Energization, and Ion Outflow in the Inner Magnetosphere

Using measurements from the Van Allen Probes, we show that field-aligned fluxes of electrons energized by dispersive Alfvén waves (DAWs) are prominent in the inner magnetosphere during active conditions. These electrons have preferentially field-aligned anisotropies from 1.2 to >2 at energies ranging from tens of electron volts to several kiloelectron volts (keV), with largest values being coincident with magnetic field dipolarizations. Comparisons reveal that DAW energy densities and Poynting fluxes are strongly correlated with precipitating electron energies and energy fluxes and also O+ ion outflow energies. These observations yield empirical inner magnetosphere relations between the DAW and electron inputs and the O+ ion outflow response, providing important constraints for models. They also suggest that DAWs play an important role in enhancing field-aligned electron input into the ionosphere that facilitates the outflow and subsequent energization of O+ ions in the wave fields into the inner magnetosphere.

Hull, A.; Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Damiano, P.; Wygant, J.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

dispersive Alfvén waves; field-aligned electrons; inner magnetosphere; oxygen ion outflow; Geomagnetic storms; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Pitch Angle Scattering and Loss of Radiation Belt Electrons in Broadband Electromagnetic Waves

A magnetic conjunction between Van Allen Probes spacecraft and the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) reveals the simultaneous occurrence of broadband Alfv\ enic fluctuations and multi-timescale modulation of enhanced atmospheric X-ray bremsstrahlung emission. The properties of the Alfv\ enic fluctuations are used to build a model for pitch angle scattering in the outer radiation belt on electron gyro-radii scale field structures. It is shown that this scattering may lead to the transport of electrons into the loss cone over an energy range from hundreds of keV to multi-MeV on diffusive timescales on the order of hours. This process may account for modulation of atmospheric X-ray fluxes observed from balloons and constitute a significant loss process for the radiation belts.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Halford, A.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Kletzing, C.; Wygant, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079527

Alfven waves; drift-bounce resonance; energetic particles; Geomagnetic storms; pitch-angle scattering; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Electron Distributions in Kinetic Scale Field Line Resonances: A Comparison of Simulations and Observations

Observations in kinetic scale field line resonances, or eigenmodes of the geomagnetic field, reveal highly field-aligned plateaued electron distributions. By combining observations from the Van Allen Probes and Cluster spacecraft with a hybrid kinetic gyrofluid simulation we show how these distributions arise from the nonlocal self-consistent interaction of electrons with the wavefield. This interaction is manifested as electron trapping in the standing wave potential. The process operates along most of the field line and qualitatively accounts for electron observations near the equatorial plane and at higher latitudes. In conjunction with the highly field-aligned plateaus, loss cone features are also evident, which result from the action of the upward-directed wave parallel electric field on the untrapped electron populations.

Damiano, P.A.; Chaston, C.C.; Hull, A.J.; Johnson, J.R.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 06/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL077748

Alfven waves; field line resonances; kinetic effects; numerical modeling; particle trapping; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Radiation belt \textquotedblleftdropouts\textquotedblright and drift-bounce resonances in broadband electromagnetic waves

Observations during the main phase of geomagnetic storms reveal an anti-correlation between the occurrence of broadband low frequency electromagnetic waves and outer radiation belt electron flux. We show that the drift-bounce motion of electrons in the magnetic field of these waves leads to rapid electron transport. For observed spectral energy densities it is demonstrated that the wave magnetic field can drive radial diffusion via drift-bounce resonance on timescales less than a drift orbit. This process may provide outward transport sufficient to account for electron \textquotedblleftdropouts\textquotedblright during storm main phase and more generally modulate the outer radiation belt during geomagnetic storms.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Wygant, J.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Melrose, D.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076362

Alfven waves; Geomagnetic storms; Radial Transport; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes


Radial transport of radiation belt electrons in kinetic field-line resonances

A representative case study from the Van Allen Probes during a geomagnetic storm recovery phase reveals enhanced electron fluxes at intermediate pitch angles over energies from ~100 keV to 5 MeV coincident with broadband low frequency electromagnetic waves. The statistical properties of these waves are used to build a model for radial diffusion via drift-bounce resonances in kinetic Alfv\ en eigenmodes/kinetic field-line resonances. Estimated diffusion coefficients indicate timescales for radial transport of the order of hours in storm-time events at energies from <100 keV to MeVs over equatorial pitch angles from the edge of the loss cone to nearly perpendicular to the geomagnetic field. The correlation of kinetic resonances with electron depletions and enhancements during storm main phase and recovery, and the rapid diffusion these waves drive, suggest they may modulate the outer radiation belt.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Wygant, J.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Melrose, D.; Cairns, Iver.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074587

Alfven waves; Diffusion; field line resonances; Radiation belts; Transport; Van Allen Probes


Driving ionospheric outflows and magnetospheric O + energy density with Alfv\ en waves

We show how dispersive Alfv\ en waves observed in the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms can extract O+ ions from the topside ionosphere and accelerate these ions to energies exceeding 50 keV in the equatorial plane. This occurs through wave trapping, a variant of \textquotedblleftshock\textquotedblright surfing, and stochastic ion acceleration. These processes in combination with the mirror force drive field-aligned beams of outflowing ionospheric ions into the equatorial plane that evolve to provide energetic O+ distributions trapped near the equator. These waves also accelerate preexisting/injected ion populations on the same field lines. We show that the action of dispersive Alfv\ en waves over several minutes may drive order of magnitude increases in O+ ion pressure to make substantial contributions to magnetospheric ion energy density. These wave accelerated ions will enhance the ring current and play a role in the storm time evolution of the magnetosphere.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Reeves, G.; Skoug, R.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 05/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069008

Alfven waves; ion acceleration; Ionosphere; ionospheric outflow; ring current


Extreme ionospheric ion energization and electron heating in Alfv\ en waves in the storm-time inner magnetosphere

We report measurements of energized outflowing/bouncing ionospheric ions and heated electrons in the inner magnetosphere during a geomagnetic storm. The ions arrive in the equatorial plane with pitch angles that increase with energy over a range from tens of eV to > 50 keV while the electrons are field-aligned up to ~1 keV. These particle distributions are observed during intervals of broadband low frequency electromagnetic field fluctuations consistent with a Doppler-shifted spectrum of kinetic Alfv\ en waves and kinetic field-line resonances. The fluctuations extend from L≈3 out to the apogee of the Van Allen Probes spacecraft at L≈6.5. They thereby span most of the L-shell range occupied by the ring current. These measurements suggest a model for ionospheric ion outflow and energization driven by dispersive Alfv\ en waves that may account for the large storm-time contribution of ionospheric ions to magnetospheric energy density.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Wygant, J.; Kletzing, C.; Reeves, G.; Gerrard, A.; Lanzerotti, L.; Smith, C.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066674

Alfven waves; electron precipitation; Geomagnetic storms; ion acceleration; ion outflow; ion upflo

Broadband low frequency electromagnetic waves in the inner magnetosphere

A prominent yet largely unrecognized feature of the inner magnetosphere associated with particle injections, and more generally geomagnetic storms, is the occurrence of broadband electromagnetic field fluctuations over spacecraft frame frequencies (fsc) extending from effectively zero to fsc ≳ 100 Hz. Using observations from the Van Allen Probes we show that these waves most commonly occur pre-midnight but are observed over a range of local times extending into the dayside magnetosphere. We find that the variation of magnetic spectral energy density with fsc obeys inline image over several decades with a spectral break-point at fb ≈1 Hz. The values for α are log normally distributed with α = 1.9 \textpm 0.6 for fsc < fb andα = 2.9 \textpm 0.6 for fsc > fb. A is a function of geomagnetic activity with the largest values observed over intervals of decreasing Dst index during the main phase of geomagnetic storms. At these times these waves are nearly always present in the night-side inner magnetosphere and are commonly observed from L = 3 outward. The observed variation of the electric to magnetic field amplitude with fsc is well described by a dispersive Alfv\ en wave model under the assumption that fsc is primarily a consequence of the Doppler shift of plasma frame structures moving over the spacecraft. The robust anti-correlation between the time rate change of the Dst index and wave spectral energy density coupled with the ability of dispersive Alfv\ en waves to drive transverse ion acceleration suggests that these waves may boost ion energy density in the inner magnetosphere and intensify the ring current during storm times.

Chaston, C.; Bonnell, J.; Kletzing, C.; Hospodarsky, G.; Wygant, J.; Smith, C.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021690

Alfven waves; Geomagnetic storms; ring current; turbulence; Van Allen Probes


Observations of kinetic scale field line resonances

We identify electromagnetic field variations from the Van Allen Probes which have the properties of Doppler shifted kinetic scale Alfv\ enic field line resonances. These variations are observed during injections of energetic plasmas into the inner magnetosphere. These waves have scale sizes perpendicular to the magnetic field which are determined to be of the order of an ion gyro-radius (ρi) and less. Cross-spectral analysis of the electric and magnetic fields reveals phase transitions at frequencies correlated with enhancements and depressions in the ratio of the electric and magnetic fields. Modeling shows that these observations are consistent with the excitation of field-line resonances over a broad range of wave numbers perpendicular to the magnetic field (k⊥) extending to k⊥ρi >> 1. The amplitude of these waves is such that E/Bo ≳ Ωi/k⊥ (E, Bo, and Ωi are the wave amplitude, background field strength, and ion gyro-frequency, respectively) leading to ion demagnetization and acceleration for multiple transitions through the wave potential.

Chaston, Christopher; Bonnell, J; Wygant, John; Mozer, Forrest; Bale, Stuart; Kersten, Kris; Breneman, Aaron; Kletzing, Craig; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Smith, Charles; MacDonald, Elizabeth;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 01/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058507

Van Allen Probes


Megavolt Parallel Potentials Arising from Double-Layer Streams in the Earth\textquoterights Outer Radiation Belt

Huge numbers of double layers carrying electric fields parallel to the local magnetic field line have been observed on the Van Allen probes in connection with in situ relativistic electron acceleration in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt. For one case with adequate high time resolution data, 7000 double layers were observed in an interval of 1 min to produce a 230 000 V net parallel potential drop crossing the spacecraft. Lower resolution data show that this event lasted for 6 min and that more than 1 000 000 volts of net parallel potential crossed the spacecraft during this time. A double layer traverses the length of a magnetic field line in about 15 s and the orbital motion of the spacecraft perpendicular to the magnetic field was about 700 km during this 6 min interval. Thus, the instantaneous parallel potential along a single magnetic field line was the order of tens of kilovolts. Electrons on the field line might experience many such potential steps in their lifetimes to accelerate them to energies where they serve as the seed population for relativistic acceleration by coherent, large amplitude whistler mode waves. Because the double-layer speed of 3100 km/s is the order of the electron acoustic speed (and not the ion acoustic speed) of a 25 eV plasma, the double layers may result from a new electron acoustic mode. Acceleration mechanisms involving double layers may also be important in planetary radiation belts such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, in the solar corona during flares, and in astrophysical objects.

Mozer, F.; Bale, S.; Bonnell, J; Chaston, C.; Roth, I.; Wygant, J.;

Published by: Physical Review Letters      Published on: 12/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.235002

Van Allen Probes

The Electric Field and Waves (EFW) Instruments on the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission

The Electric Fields and Waves (EFW) Instruments on the two Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) spacecraft (recently renamed the Van Allen Probes) are designed to measure three dimensional quasi-static and low frequency electric fields and waves associated with the major mechanisms responsible for the acceleration of energetic charged particles in the inner magnetosphere of the Earth. For this measurement, the instrument uses two pairs of spherical double probe sensors at the ends of orthogonal centripetally deployed booms in the spin plane with tip-to-tip separations of 100 meters. The third component of the electric field is measured by two spherical sensors separated by \~15 m, deployed at the ends of two stacer booms oppositely directed along the spin axis of the spacecraft. The instrument provides a continuous stream of measurements over the entire orbit of the low frequency electric field vector at 32 samples/s in a survey mode. This survey mode also includes measurements of spacecraft potential to provide information on thermal electron plasma variations and structure. Survey mode spectral information allows the continuous evaluation of the peak value and spectral power in electric, magnetic and density fluctuations from several Hz to 6.5 kHz. On-board cross-spectral data allows the calculation of field-aligned wave Poynting flux along the magnetic field. For higher frequency waveform information, two different programmable burst memories are used with nominal sampling rates of 512 samples/s and 16 k samples/s. The EFW burst modes provide targeted measurements over brief time intervals of 3-d electric fields, 3-d wave magnetic fields (from the EMFISIS magnetic search coil sensors), and spacecraft potential. In the burst modes all six sensor-spacecraft potential measurements are telemetered enabling interferometric timing of small-scale plasma structures. In the first burst mode, the instrument stores all or a substantial fraction of the high frequency measurements in a 32 gigabyte burst memory. The sub-intervals to be downloaded are uplinked by ground command after inspection of instrument survey data and other information available on the ground. The second burst mode involves autonomous storing and playback of data controlled by flight software algorithms, which assess the \textquotedbllefthighest quality\textquotedblright events on the basis of instrument measurements and information from other instruments available on orbit. The EFW instrument provides 3-d wave electric field signals with a frequency response up to 400 kHz to the EMFISIS instrument for analysis and telemetry (Kletzing et al. Space Sci. Rev. 2013).

Wygant, J.; Bonnell, J; Goetz, K.; Ergun, R.E.; Mozer, F.; Bale, S.D.; Ludlam, M.; Turin, P.; Harvey, P.R.; Hochmann, R.; Harps, K.; Dalton, G.; McCauley, J.; Rachelson, W.; Gordon, D.; Donakowski, B.; Shultz, C.; Smith, C.; Diaz-Aguado, M.; Fischer, J.; Heavner, S.; Berg, P.; Malaspina, D.; Bolton, M.; Hudson, M.; Strangeway, R.; Baker, D.; Li, X.; Albert, J.; Foster, J.C.; Chaston, C.C.; Mann, I.; Donovan, E.; Cully, C.M.; Cattell, C.; Krasnoselskikh, V.; Kersten, K.; Brenneman, A; Tao, J.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-0013-7

RBSP; Van Allen Probes