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Found 14 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 14


Electromagnetic power of lightning superbolts from Earth to space

Lightning superbolts are the most powerful and rare lightning events with intense optical emission, first identified from space. Superbolt events occurred in 2010-2018 could be localized by extracting the high energy tail of the lightning stroke signals measured by the very low frequency ground stations of the World-Wide Lightning Location Network. Here, we report electromagnetic observations of superbolts from space using Van Allen Probes satellite measurements, and ground measurements, and with two events measured both from ground and space. From burst-triggered measurements, we compute electric and magnetic power spectral density for very low frequency waves driven by superbolts, both on Earth and transmitted into space, demonstrating that superbolts transmit 10-1000 times more powerful very low frequency waves into space than typical strokes and revealing that their extreme nature is observed in space. We find several properties of superbolts that notably differ from most lightning flashes; a more symmetric first ground-wave peak due to a longer rise time, larger peak current, weaker decay of electromagnetic power density in space with distance, and a power mostly confined in the very low frequency range. Their signal is absent in space during day times and is received with a long-time delay on the Van Allen Probes. These results have implications for our understanding of lightning and superbolts, for ionosphere-magnetosphere wave transmission, wave propagation in space, and remote sensing of extreme events.

Ripoll, J.-F.; Farges, T.; Malaspina, D.; Cunningham, G.; Lay, E.; Hospodarsky, G.; Kletzing, C.; Wygant, J.;

Published by: Nature Communications      Published on: 06/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Van Allen Probes

Observations and simulations of dropout events and flux decays in October 2013: Comparing MEO equatorial with LEO polar orbit

Abstract We compare ESA PROBA-V observations of electron flux at LEO with those from the NASA Van Allen Probes mostly at MEO for October 2013. Dropouts are visible at all energy during 4 storms from both satellites. Equatorial trapped electron fluxes are higher than at LEO by 102 (<1 MeV) to 105 (>2.5 MeV). We observe a quite isotropic structure of the outer belt during quiet times, contrary to the inner belt, and pitch angle dependence of high energy injection. We find very good overlap of the outer belt at MEO and LEO at ∼0.5 MeV. We use test-particle simulations of the energetic electrons trapped in the terrestrial magnetic field to study the outer radiation belt electron flux changes during geomagnetic storms. We show that the Dst (Disturbance storm time) effect during the main phase of a geomagnetic storm results in a betatron mechanism causing outward radial drift and a deceleration of the electrons. This outward drift motion is energy independent, pitch angle dependent, and represent a significant distance (∼1 L-shell at L=5 for moderate storms). At fixed L-shell, this causes a decay of the LEO precipitating flux (adiabatic outward motion), followed by a return to the normal state (adiabatic inward motion) during main and recovery phases. Dst effect, associated with magnetopause shadowing and radial diffusion can explain the main characteristics of outer radiation belt electron dropouts in October 2013. We also use Fokker-Planck simulations with event-driven diffusion coefficients at high temporal resolution, in order to distinguish instantaneous loss from the gradual scattering that depopulates the slot region and the outer belt after storms. Simulations reproduce the slot formation and the gradual loss in the outer belt. The typical energy-dependence of these losses leads to the absence of scattering for relativistic and ultra-relativistic electrons in the outer belt, oppositely to dropouts.

Pierrard, V.; Ripoll, J.-F.; Cunningham, G.; Botek, E.; Santolik, O.; Thaller, S.; Kurth, W.; Cosmides, M.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; Geomagnetic storms; energetic particles; Van Allen Probes


First Direct Observations of Propagation of Discrete Chorus Elements From the Equatorial Source to Higher Latitudes, Using the Van Allen Probes and Arase Satellites

Whistler mode chorus waves have recently been established as the most likely candidate for scattering relativistic electrons to produce the electron microbursts observed by low altitude satellites and balloons. These waves would have to propagate from the equatorial source region to significantly higher magnetic latitude in order to scatter electrons of these relativistic energies. This theoretically proposed propagation has never been directly observed. We present the first direct observations of the same discrete rising tone chorus elements propagating from a near equatorial (Van Allen Probes) to an off-equatorial (Arase) satellite. The chorus is observed first on the more equatorial satellite and is found to be more oblique and significantly attenuated at the off-equatorial satellite. This is consistent with the prevailing theory of chorus propagation and with the idea that chorus must propagate from the equatorial source region to higher latitudes. Ray tracing of chorus at the observed frequencies confirms that these elements could be generated parallel to the field at the equator, and propagate through the medium unducted to Van Allen Probes A and then to Arase with the observed time delay, and have the observed obliquity and intensity at each satellite.

Colpitts, Chris; Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Kasahara, Yoshiya; Delzanno, Gian; Wygant, John; Cattell, Cynthia; Breneman, Aaron; Kletzing, Craig; Cunningham, Greg; Hikishima, Mitsuru; Matsuda, Shoya; Katoh, Yuto; Ripoll, Jean-Francois; Shinohara, Iku; Matsuoka, Ayako;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Chorus; wave; propagation; Simultaneous observations; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes

Defining Radiation Belt Enhancement Events Based on Probability Distributions

We present a methodology to define moderate, strong, and intense space weather events based on probability distributions. We have illustrated this methodology using a long-duration, uniform data set of 1.8–3.5 MeV electron fluxes from multiple LANL geosynchronous satellite instruments, but a strength of this methodology is that it can be applied uniformly to heterogeneous data sets. It allows quantitative comparison of data sets with different energies, units, orbits, and so forth. The methodology identifies a range of times, “events,” using variable flux thresholds to determine average event occurrence in arbitrary 11-year intervals (“cycles”). We define moderate, strong, and intense events as those that occur 100, 10, and 1 time per cycle and identify the flux thresholds that produce those occurrence frequencies. The methodology does not depend on any ancillary data set (e.g., solar wind or geomagnetic conditions). We show event probabilities using GOES > 2 MeV fluxes and compare them against event probabilities using LANL 1.8–3.5 MeV fluxes. We present some examples of how the methodology picks out moderate, strong, and intense events and how those events are distributed in time: 1989 through 2018, which includes the declining phases of solar cycles 22, 23, and 24. We also provide an illustrative comparison of moderate and strong events identified in the geosynchronous data with Van Allen Probes observations across all L-shells. We also provide a catalog of start and stop times of moderate, strong, and intense events that can be used for future studies.

Reeves, Geoffrey; Vandegriff, Elizabeth; Niehof, Jonathan; Morley, Steven; Cunningham, Gregory; Henderson, Michael; Larsen, Brian;

Published by: Space Weather      Published on: 06/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Radiation belts; methods; geosynchronous; energetic particles; hazards; Solar Cycle; Van Allen Probes

Analysis of Electric and Magnetic Lightning-Generated Wave Amplitudes Measured by the Van Allen Probes

Abstract We provide a statistical analysis of both electric and magnetic field wave amplitudes of very low frequency lightning-generated waves (LGWs) based on the equivalent of 11.5 years of observations made by the Van Allen Probes encompassing ~24.6 × 106 survey mode measurements. We complement this analysis with data from the ground-based World Wide Lightning Location Network to explore differences between satellite and ground-based measurements. LGW mean amplitudes are found to be low compared with other whistler mode waves (1 ± 1.6 pT and 19 ± 59 μV/m). Extreme events (1/5,000) can reach 100 pT and contributes strongly to the mean power below L = 2. We find excellent correlations between World Wide Lightning Location Network-based power and wave amplitudes in space at various longitudes. We reveal strong dayside ionospheric damping of the LGW electric field. LGW amplitudes drop for L < 2, contrary to the Earth s intense equatorial lightning activity. We conclude that it is difficult for equatorial LGW to propagate and remain at L < 2.

Ripoll, J.-F.; Farges, T.; Malaspina, D.; Lay, E.; Cunningham, G.; Hospodarsky, G.; Kletzing, C.; Wygant, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI: 10.1029/2020GL087503

lightning-generated waves; electric wave power; magnetic wave power; WWLLN database; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes


Local and Statistical Maps of Lightning-Generated Wave Power Density Estimated at the Van Allen Probes Footprints From the World-Wide Lightning Location Network Database

We propose a new method that uses the World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) to estimate both the local and the drift lightning power density at the Van Allen Probes footprints during 4.3 years (~2 \texttimes 108 strokes.). The ratio of the drift power density to the local power density defines a time-resolved WWLLN-based model of lightning-generated wave (LGW) power density ratio, RWWLLN. RWWLLNis computed every ~34 s. This ratio multiplied by the time-resolved LGW intensity measured by the Probes allows direct computation of pitch angle diffusion coefficients used in radiation belt codes. Statistical analysis shows the median power density ratio is urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0001 over the Americas. Elsewhere, urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0002 in general. Over oceans, urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0003 is larger than ~10. urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-1003 varies with season, urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0083 ~ 2.5 from winter to summer. The yearly-median urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0004 decays as urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl58808:grl58808-math-0005. The strong geographical and temporal variation should be kept in assessing effects in space. RWWLLN > 1 suggests significant LGW effects in the inner belt.

Ripoll, J.-F.; Farges, T.; Lay, E.; Cunningham, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081146

drift wave power density; lightning power density; lightning-generated waves; occurrence rate; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; WWLLN database


Observations and Fokker-Planck simulations of the L-shell, energy, and pitch-angle structure of Earth\textquoterights electron radiation belts during quiet times

The evolution of the radiation belts in L-shell (L), energy (E), and equatorial pitch-angle (α0) is analyzed during the calm 11-day interval (March 4 \textendashMarch 15) following the March 1 storm 2013. Magnetic Electron and Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) observations from Van Allen Probes are interpreted alongside 1D and 3D Fokker-Planck simulations combined with consistent event-driven scattering modeling from whistler mode hiss waves. Three (L, E, α0)-regions persist through 11 days of hiss wave scattering; the pitch-angle dependent inner belt core (L~<2.2 and E<700 keV), pitch-angle homogeneous outer belt low-energy core (L>~5 and E~<100 keV), and a distinct pocket of electrons (L~[4.5, 5.5] and E~[0.7, 2] MeV). The pitch-angle homogeneous outer belt is explained by the diffusion coefficients that are roughly constant for α0~<60\textdegree, E>100 keV, 3.5

Ripoll, -F.; Loridan, V.; Denton, M.; Cunningham, G.; Reeves, G.; ik, O.; Fennell, J.; Turner, D.; Drozdov, A; Villa, J.; Shprits, Y; Thaller, S.; Kurth, W.; Kletzing, C.; Henderson, M.; Ukhorskiy, A;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026111

electron lifetime; hiss waves; pitch-angle diffusion coefficient; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interactions


On the Time Needed to Reach an Equilibrium Structure of the Radiation Belts

In this study, we complement the notion of equilibrium states of the radiation belts with a discussion on the dynamics and time needed to reach equilibrium. We solve for the equilibrium states obtained using 1D radial diffusion with recently developed hiss and chorus lifetimes at constant values of Kp = 1, 3 and 6. We find that the equilibrium states at moderately low Kp, when plotted vs L-shell (L) and energy (E), display the same interesting S-shape for the inner edge of the outer belt as recently observed by the Van Allen Probes. The S-shape is also produced as the radiation belts dynamically evolve toward the equilibrium state when initialized to simulate the buildup after a massive dropout or to simulate loss due to outward diffusion from a saturated state. Physically, this shape, intimately linked with the slot structure, is due to the dependence of electron loss rate (originating from wave-particle interactions) on both energy and L-shell. Equilibrium electron flux profiles are governed by the Biot number (τDiffusion/τloss), with large Biot number corresponding to low fluxes and low Biot number to large fluxes. The time it takes for the flux at a specific (L, E) to reach the value associated with the equilibrium state, starting from these different initial states, is governed by the initial state of the belts, the property of the dynamics (diffusion coefficients), and the size of the domain of computation. Its structure shows a rather complex scissor form in the (L, E) plane. The equilibrium value (phase space density or flux) is practically reachable only for selected regions in (L, E) and geomagnetic activity. Convergence to equilibrium requires hundreds of days in the inner belt for E > 300 keV and moderate Kp (<=3). It takes less time to reach equilibrium during disturbed geomagnetic conditions (Kp >= 3), when the system evolves faster. Restricting our interest to the slot region, below L = 4, we find that only small regions in (L, E) space can reach the equilibrium value: E ~ [200, 300] keV for L = [3.7, 4] at Kp = 1, E ~ [0.6, 1] MeV for L = [3, 4] at Kp = 3, and E ~ 300 keV for L = [3.5, 4] at Kp = 6 assuming no new incoming electrons.

Ripoll, J.; Loridan, V.; Cunningham, G.; Reeves, G.; Shprits, Y;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA022207

Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Reproducing the observed energy-dependent structure of Earth s electron radiation belts during storm recovery with an event-specific diffusion model

We present dynamic simulations of energy-dependent losses in the radiation belt " slot region" and the formation of the two-belt structure for the quiet days after the March 1st storm. The simulations combine radial diffusion with a realistic scattering model, based data-driven spatially and temporally-resolved whistler mode hiss wave observations from the Van Allen Probes satellites. The simulations reproduce Van Allen Probes observations for all energies and L-shells (2 to 6) including (a) the strong energy-dependence to the radiation belt dynamics (b) an energy-dependent outer boundary to the inner zone that extends to higher L-shells at lower energies and (c) an " S-shaped" energy-dependent inner boundary to the outer zone that results from the competition between diffusive radial transport and losses. We find that the characteristic energy-dependent structure of the radiation belts and slot region is dynamic and can be formed gradually in ~15 days, although the " S-shape" can also be reproduced by assuming equilibrium conditions. The highest energy electrons (E > 300 keV) of the inner region of the outer belt (L ~ 4-5) also constantly decay, demonstrating that hiss wave scattering affects the outer belt during times of extended plasmasphere. Through these simulations, we explain the full structure in energy and L-shell of the belts and the slot formation by hiss scattering during storm recovery. We show the power and complexity of looking dynamically at the effects over all energies and L-shells and the need for using data-driven and event-specific conditions.

Ripoll, J.; Reeves, G.; Cunningham, G.; Loridan, V.; Denton, M.; ik, O.; Kurth, W.; Kletzing, C.; Turner, D.; Henderson, M.; Ukhorskiy, A;

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

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068869

electron lifetimes; electron losses; hiss waves; Radiation belts; Slot region; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interactions

Forecasting and remote sensing outer belt relativistic electrons from low Earth orbit

This study demonstrates the feasibility and reliability of using observations from low Earth orbit (LEO) to forecast and nowcast relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt. We first report a high cross-energy, cross-pitch-angle coherence discovered between the trapped MeV electrons and precipitating approximately hundreds (~100s) of keV electrons\textemdashobserved by satellites with very different altitudes\textemdashwith correlation coefficients as high as ≳ 0.85. Based upon the coherence, we then tested the feasibility of applying linear prediction filters to LEO data to predict the arrival of new MeV electrons during geomagnetic storms, as well as their evolving distributions afterward. Reliability of these predictive filters is quantified by the performance efficiency with values as high as 0.74 when driven merely by LEO observations (or up to 0.94 with the inclusion of in situ MeV electron measurements). Finally, a hypothesis based upon the wave-particle resonance theory is proposed to explain the coherence, and a first-principle electron tracing model yields supporting evidence.

Chen, Yue; Reeves, Geoffrey; Cunningham, Gregory; Redmon, Robert; Henderson, Michael;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067481

forecast and nowcast; hundreds of keV precipitating electrons; LEO observations; Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; wave particle interactions


Electron lifetimes from narrowband wave-particle interactions within the plasmasphere

This paper is devoted to the systematic study of electron lifetimes from narrowband wave-particle interactions within the plasmasphere. It relies on a new formulation of the bounce-averaged quasi-linear pitch angle diffusion coefficients parameterized by a single frequency, ω, and wave normal angle, θ. We first show that the diffusion coefficients scale with ω/Ωce, where Ωce is the equatorial electron gyrofrequency, and that maximal pitch angle diffusion occurs along the line α0 = π/2\textendashθ, where α0 is the equatorial pitch angle. Lifetimes are computed for L shell values in the range [1.5, 3.5] and energies, E, in the range [0.1, 6] MeV as a function of frequency and wave normal angle. The maximal pitch angle associated with a given lifetime is also given, revealing the frequencies that are able to scatter nearly equatorial pitch angle particles. The lifetimes are relatively independent of frequency and wave normal angle after taking into consideration the scaling law, with a weak dependence on wave normal angle up to 60\textendash70\textdegree, increasing to infinity as the wave normal angle approaches the resonance cone. We identify regions in the (L, E) plane in which a single wave type (hiss, VLF transmitters, or lightning-generated waves) is dominant relative to the others. We find that VLF waves dominate the lifetime for 0.2\textendash0.4 MeV at L ~ 2 and for 0.5\textendash0.8 MeV at L ~ 1.5, while hiss dominates the lifetime for 2\textendash3 MeV at L = 3\textendash3.5. The influence of lightning-generated waves is always mixed with the other two and cannot be easily differentiated. Limitations of the method for addressing effects due to restricted latitude or pitch angle domains are also discussed. Finally, for each (L, E) we search for the minimum lifetime and find that the optimal frequency that produces this lifetime increases as L diminishes. Restricting the search to very oblique waves, which could be emitted during the Demonstration and Science Experiments satellite mission, we find that the optimal frequency is always close to 0.16Ωce.

Ripoll, J.-F.; Albert, J.; Cunningham, G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020217

DSX; electron; narrowband; plasmasphere; wave-particle interactions

Acceleration and loss driven by VLF chorus: Van Allen Probes observations and DREAM model results

For over a decade now we have understood the response of the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts to solar wind driving are a delicate balance of acceleration and loss processes. Theory has shown that the interaction of relativistic electrons with VLF whistler mode chorus can produce both energization through momentum diffusion and loss through pitch angle diffusion. Recent results from the Van Allen Probes mission has confirmed observationally that chorus can produce both acceleration and loss. The Van Allen Probes satellites are able to measure all the critical particle populations and wave fields with unprecedented precision and resolution but only at the two spacecraft locations. Those spatially-localized observations can be extended globally using three-dimensional diffusion codes such as the DREAM model. We will discuss some of the recent Van Allen Probes observations that firmly demonstrate local acceleration by chorus and losses due to chorus-produced pitch angle scattering (as well as outward radial diffusion). We will look at observational evidence for the complex chain of processes that inject a \textquotedblleftseed population\textquotedblright, generate chorus, and ultimately drive radiation belt acceleration and loss. We will also discuss how local satellite observations can be generalized to simulate global dynamics using data-driven input and boundary conditions. RW1/J/IEIE0175/0001

Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Henderson, M.; Tu, W.; Cunningham, G.; Chen, Y.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Baker, D.;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929879

Van Allen Probes

Event-specific chorus wave and electron seed population models in DREAM3D using the Van Allen Probes

The DREAM3D diffusion model is applied to Van Allen Probes observations of the fast dropout and strong enhancement of MeV electrons during the October 2012 \textquotedblleftdouble-dip\textquotedblright storm. We show that in order to explain the very different behavior in the two \textquotedblleftdips,\textquotedblright diffusion in all three dimensions (energy, pitch angle, and L*) coupled with data-driven, event-specific inputs, and boundary conditions is required. Specifically, we find that outward radial diffusion to the solar wind-driven magnetopause, an event-specific chorus wave model, and a dynamic lower-energy seed population are critical for modeling the dynamics. In contrast, models that include only a subset of processes, use statistical wave amplitudes, or rely on inward radial diffusion of a seed population, perform poorly. The results illustrate the utility of the high resolution, comprehensive set of Van Allen Probes\textquoteright measurements in studying the balance between source and loss in the radiation belt, a principal goal of the mission.

Tu, Weichao; Cunningham, G.; Chen, Y.; Morley, S.; Reeves, G.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058819

Van Allen Probes

Global time-dependent chorus maps from low-Earth-orbit electron precipitation and Van Allen Probes data

Substorm injected electrons (several\textendash100 s keV) produce whistler-mode chorus waves that are thought to have a major impact on the radiation belts by causing both energization and loss of relativistic electrons in the outer belt. High-altitude measurements, such as those from the Van Allen Probes, provide detailed wave measurements at a few points in the magnetosphere. But physics-based models of radiation-belt dynamics require knowledge of the global distribution of chorus waves. We demonstrate that time-dependent, global distributions of near-equatorial chorus wave intensities can be inferred from low-Earth-orbit (LEO) measurements of precipitating low-energy electrons. We compare in situ observations of near-equatorial chorus waves with LEO observations of precipitating electrons and derive a heuristic formula that relates, quantitatively, electron precipitation fluxes to chorus wave intensities. Finally, we demonstrate how that formula can be applied to LEO precipitation measurements and in situ Van Allen Probes wave measurements to provide global, data-driven inputs for radiation belt models.

Chen, Yue; Reeves, Geoffrey; Friedel, Reiner; Cunningham, Gregory;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059181

Van Allen Probes