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Found 22 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 22


Can Earth’s magnetotail plasma sheet produce a source of relativistic electrons for the radiation belts?

Abstract Simultaneous observations from Van Allen Probes (RBSP) in Earth’s outer radiation belt (∼4-6 RE) and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) in the magnetotail plasma sheet at >20 RE geocentric distance are used to compare relative levels of relativistic electron phase space density (PSD) for constant values of the first adiabatic invariant, M. We present new evidence from two events showing: i) at times, there is sufficient PSD in the central plasma sheet to provide a source of >1 MeV electrons into the outer belt; ii) the most intense levels of relativistic electrons are not accelerated in the solar wind or transported from the inner magnetosphere and thus must be accelerated rapidly (within ∼minutes or less) and efficiently across a broad region of the magnetotail itself; and iii) the highest intensity relativistic electrons observed by MMS were confined within only the central plasma sheet. The answer to the title question here is: yes, it can, however whether Earth’s plasma sheet actually does provide a source of several 100s keV to >1 MeV electrons to the outer belt and how often it does so remain important outstanding questions.

Turner, Drew; Cohen, Ian; Michael, Adam; Sorathia, Kareem; Merkin, Slava; Mauk, Barry; Ukhorskiy, Sasha; Murphy, Kyle; Gabrielse, Christine; Boyd, Alexander; Fennell, Joseph; Blake, Bernard; Claudepierre, Seth; Drozdov, Alexander; Jaynes, Allison; Ripoll, Jean-Francois; Reeves, Geoffrey;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Radiation belts; plasma sheet; Particle acceleration; relativistic electrons; inner magnetosphere; magnetotail; Van Allen Probes


Space Weather Operation at KASI with Van Allen Probes Beacon Signals

The Van Allen Probes (VAPs) are the only modern NASA spacecraft broadcasting real-time data on the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts for space weather operations. Since 2012, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) has contributed to the receipt of this data via a 7-m satellite tracking antenna and used these data for space weather operations. An approximately 15-min period is required from measurement to acquisition of Level-1 data. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of VAP data for monitoring space weather conditions at geostationary orbit (GEO) by highlighting the Saint Patrick\textquoterights Day storm of 2015. During that storm, Probe-A observed a significant increase in the relativistic electron flux at 3 RE. Those electrons diffused outward resulting in a large increase of the electron flux > 2 MeV at GEO, which potentially threatened satellite operations. Based on this study, we conclude that the combination of VAP data and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (NOAA-GOES) data can provide improved space environment information to geostationary satellite operators. In addition, the findings obtained indicate that more data-receiving sites would be necessary and data connections improved if this or a similar system were to be used as an operational data service.

Lee, Jongkil; Kim, Kyung-Chan; Romeo, Giuseppe; Ukhorskiy, Sasha; Sibeck, David; Kessel, Ramona; Mauk, Barry; Giles, Barbara; Gu, Bon-Jun; Lee, Hyesook; Park, Young-Deuk; Lee, Jaejin;

Published by: Space Weather      Published on: 01/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/2017SW001726

Electron acceleration; Radiation belt; Relativistic electron; Space weather; Van Allen Probes


Examining coherency scales, substructure, and propagation of whistler-mode chorus elements with Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)

Whistler-mode chorus waves are a naturally occurring electromagnetic emission observed in Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere. Here, for the first time, data from NASA\textquoterights Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission were used to analyze chorus waves in detail, including the calculation of chorus wave normal vectors, k. A case study was examined from a period of substorm activity around the time of a conjunction between the MMS constellation and NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes mission on 07 April 2016. Chorus wave activity was simultaneously observed by all six spacecraft over a broad range of L-shells (5.5 < L < 8.5), magnetic local time (06:00 < MLT < 09:00), and magnetic latitude (-32\textdegree < MLat < -15\textdegree), implying a large chorus active region. Eight chorus elements and their substructure were analyzed in detail with MMS. These chorus elements were all lower band and rising tone emissions, right-handed and nearly circularly polarized, and propagating away from the magnetic equator when they were observed at MMS (MLat ~ -31\textdegree). Most of the elements had \textquotedbllefthook\textquotedblright like signatures on their wave power spectra, characterized by enhanced wave power at flat or falling frequency following the peak, and all the elements exhibited complex and well organized substructure observed consistently at all four MMS spacecraft at separations up to 70 km (60 km perpendicular and 38 km parallel to the background magnetic field). The waveforms in field-aligned coordinates also demonstrated that these waves were all phase coherent allowing for the direct calculation of k. Error estimates on calculated k revealed that the plane wave approximation was valid for six of the eight elements and most of the subelements. The wave normal vectors were within 20-30\textdegree from the direction anti-parallel to the background field for all elements and changed from subelement to subelement through at least two of the eight elements. The azimuthal angle of k in the perpendicular plane was oriented earthward and was oblique to that of the Poynting vector, which has implications for the validity of cold plasma theory.

Turner, D.; Lee, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Jaynes, A.; Leonard, T.; Wilder, F.; Ergun, R.; Baker, D.; Cohen, I.; Mauk, B.; Strangeway, R.; Hartley, D.; Kletzing, C.; Breuillard, H.; Le Contel, O.; Khotyaintsev, Yu; Torbert, R.; Allen, R.; Burch, J.; Santolik, O.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024474

chorus waves; inner magnetosphere; Magnetospheric multiscale; MMS; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Lower-hybrid drift waves and electromagnetic electron space-phase holes associated with dipolarization fronts and field-aligned currents observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission during a substorm

We analyse two ion scale dipolarization fronts associated with field-aligned currents detected by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission during a large substorm on August 10, 2016. The first event corresponds to a fast dawnward flow with an anti-parallel current and could be generated by the wake of a previous fast earthward flow. It is associated with intense lower-hybrid drift waves detected at the front and propagating dawnward with a perpendicular phase speed close to the electric drift and the ion thermal velocity. The second event corresponds to a flow reversal: from southwward/dawnward to northward/duskward associated with a parallel current consistent with a brief expansion of the plasma sheet before the front crossing, and with a smaller lower-hybrid drift wave activity. Electromagnetic electron phase-space holes are detected near these low-frequency drift waves during both events. The drift waves could accelerate electrons parallel to the magnetic field and produce the parallel electron drift needed to generate the electron holes. Yet, we cannot rule out the possibility that the drift waves are produced by the anti-parallel current associated with the fast flows, leaving the source for the electron holes unexplained.

Contel, O.; Nakamura, R.; Breuillard, H.; Argall, M.; Graham, D.; Fischer, D.; o, A.; Berthomier, M.; Pottelette, R.; Mirioni, L.; Chust, T.; Wilder, F.; Gershman, D.; Varsani, A.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu.; Norgren, C.; Ergun, R.; Goodrich, K.; Burch, J.; Torbert, R.; Needell, J.; Chutter, M.; Rau, D.; Dors, I.; Russell, C.; Magnes, W.; Strangeway, R.; Bromund, K.; Wei, H; Plaschke, F.; Anderson, B.; Le, G.; Moore, T.; Giles, B.; Paterson, W.; Pollock, C.; Dorelli, J.; Avanov, L.; Saito, Y.; Lavraud, B.; Fuselier, S.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Leonard, T.; Jaynes, A.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024550

dipolarization front; electron hole; fast flow:Van allen Probes; Field-Aligned Current; lower-hybrid drift wave; substorm

Multipoint observations of energetic particle injections and substorm activity during a conjunction between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes

This study examines multipoint observations during a conjunction between MMS and Van Allen Probes on 07 April 2016 in which a series of energetic particle injections occurred. With complementary data from THEMIS, Geotail, and LANL-GEO (16 spacecraft in total), we develop new insights on the nature of energetic particle injections associated with substorm activity. Despite this case involving only weak substorm activity (max. AE < 300 nT) during quiet geomagnetic conditions in steady, below-average solar wind, a complex series of at least six different electron injections was observed throughout the system. Intriguingly, only one corresponding ion injection was clearly observed. All ion and electron injections were observed at < 600 keV only. MMS reveals detailed substructure within the largest electron injection. A relationship between injected electrons with energy < 60 keV and enhanced whistler-mode chorus wave activity is also established from Van Allen Probes and MMS. Drift mapping using a simplified magnetic field model provides estimates of the dispersionless injection boundary locations as a function of universal time, magnetic local time, and L-shell. The analysis reveals that at least five electron injections, which were localized in magnetic local time, preceded a larger injection of both electrons and ions across nearly the entire nightside of the magnetosphere near geosynchronous orbit. The larger, ion and electron injection did not penetrate to L < 6.6, but several of the smaller, electron injections penetrated to L < 6.6. Due to the discrepancy between the number, penetration depth, and complexity of electron vs. ion injections, this event presents challenges to the current conceptual models of energetic particle injections.

Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Clemmons, J.; Jaynes, A.; Leonard, T.; Baker, D.; Cohen, I.; Gkioulidou, M.; Ukhorskiy, A; Mauk, B.; Gabrielse, C.; Angelopoulos, V.; Strangeway, R.; Kletzing, C.; Le Contel, O.; Spence, H.; Torbert, R.; Burch, J.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024554

energetic particles; injections; inner magnetosphere; plasma sheet; substorms; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions

Storm time empirical model of O + and O 6+ distributions in the magnetosphere

Recent studies have utilized different charge states of oxygen ions as a tracer for the origins of plasma populations in the magnetosphere of Earth, using O+ as an indicator of ionospheric-originating plasma and O6+ as an indicator of solar wind-originating plasma. These studies have correlated enhancements in O6+ to various solar wind and geomagnetic conditions to characterize the dominant solar wind injection mechanisms into the magnetosphere but did not include analysis of the temporal evolution of these ions. A sixth-order Fourier expansion model based empirically on a superposed epoch analysis of geomagnetic storms observed by Polar is presented in this study to provide insight into the evolution of both ionospheric-originating and solar wind-originating plasma throughout geomagnetic storms. At high energies (~200 keV) the flux of O+ and O6+ are seen to become comparable in the outer magnetosphere. Moreover, while the density of O+ is far higher than O6+, the two charge states have comparable pressures in the outer magnetosphere. The temperature of O6+ is generally higher than that of O+, because the O6+ is injected from preheated magnetosheath populations before undergoing further heating once in the magnetosphere. A comparison between the model results with O+ observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission and the Van Allen Probes provides a validation of the model. In general, this empirical model agrees qualitatively well with the trends seen in both data sets. Quantitatively, the modeled density, pressure, and temperature almost always agree within a factor of at most 10, 5, and 2, respectively.

Allen, R.; Livi, S.; Vines, S.; Goldstein, J.; Cohen, I.; Fuselier, S.; Mauk, B.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024245

MMS mission; Polar mission; solar wind injection; storm time dynamics; Van Allen Probes; Van Allen Probes mission

Dominance of high energy (>150 keV) heavy ion intensities in Earth\textquoterights middle to outer magnetosphere

Previous observations have driven the prevailing assumption in the field that energetic ions measured by an instrument using a bare solid state detector (SSD) are predominantly protons. However, new near-equatorial energetic particle observations obtained between 7 and 12 RE during Phase 1 of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission challenge the validity of this assumption. In particular, measurements by the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) instruments have revealed that the intensities of heavy ion species (specifically oxygen and helium) dominate those of protons at energies math formula150-220 keV in the middle to outer (>7 RE) magnetosphere. Given that relative composition measurements can drift as sensors degrade in gain, quality cross-calibration agreement between EIS observations and those from the SSD-based Fly\textquoterights Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) sensors provides critical support to the veracity of the measurement. Similar observations from the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) instruments aboard the Van Allen Probes spacecraft extend the ion composition measurements into the middle magnetosphere and reveal a strongly proton-dominated environment at math formula, but decreasing proton intensities at math formula. It is concluded that the intensity dominance of the heavy ions at higher energies (>150 keV) arises from the existence of significant populations of multiply-charged heavy ions, presumably of solar wind origin.

Cohen, Ian; Mitchell, Donald; Kistler, Lynn; Mauk, Barry; Anderson, Brian; Westlake, Joseph; Ohtani, Shinichi; Hamilton, Douglas; Turner, Drew; Blake, Bern; Fennell, Joseph; Jaynes, Allison; Leonard, Trevor; Gerrard, Andrew; Lanzerotti, Louis; Allen, Robert; Burch, James;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024351

energetic ion composition; magnetospheric ion composition; Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS); outer magnetosphere; ring current composition; suprathermal ions; Van Allen Probes


The permeability of the magnetopause to a multispecies substorm injection of energetic particles

Leakage of ions from the magnetosphere into the magnetosheath remains an important topic in understanding the plasma physics of Earth\textquoterights magnetopause and the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere. Here using sophisticated instrumentation from two spacecraft (Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment on the Van Allen Probes and Energetic Ion Spectrometer on the Magnetospheric Multiscale) spaced uniquely near and outside the dayside magnetopause, we are able to determine the escape mechanisms for large gyroradii oxygen ions and much smaller gyroradii hydrogen and helium ions. The oxygen ions are entrained on the magnetosphere boundary, while the hydrogen and helium ions appear to escape along reconnected field lines. These results have important implications for not only Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere but also other solar system magnetospheres.

Westlake, J.; Cohen, I.; Mauk, B.; Anderson, B.; Mitchell, D.; Gkioulidou, M.; Walsh, B.; Lanzerotti, L.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070189

energetic particles; magnetopause; magnetosheath; MMSEPD; Van Allen Probes

Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission

We present multipoint observations of earthward moving dipolarization fronts and energetic particle injections from NASA\textquoterights Magnetospheric Multiscale mission with a focus on electron acceleration. From a case study during a substorm on 02 August 2015, we find that electrons are only accelerated over a finite energy range, from a lower energy threshold at ~7\textendash9 keV up to an upper energy cutoff in the hundreds of keV range. At energies lower than the threshold energy, electron fluxes decrease, potentially due to precipitation by strong parallel electrostatic wavefields or initial sources in the lobes. Electrons at energies higher than the threshold are accelerated cumulatively by a series of impulsive magnetic dipolarization events. This case demonstrates how the upper energy cutoff increases, in this case from ~130 keV to >500 keV, with each dipolarization/injection during sustained activity. We also present a simple model accounting for these energy limits that reveals that electron energization is dominated by betatron acceleration.

Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Clemmons, J.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Jaynes, A.; Craft, J.; Wilder, F.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Gershman, D.; Avanov, L.; Dorelli, J.; Giles, B.; Pollock, C.; Schmid, D.; Nakamura, R.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.; Artemyev, A.; Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.; Spence, H.; Torbert, R.; Burch, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069691

energetic particle injections; magnetotail; Particle acceleration; plasma sheet; reconnection; substorm; Van Allen Probes

A telescopic and microscopic examination of acceleration in the June 2015 geomagnetic storm: Magnetospheric Multiscale and Van Allen Probes study of substorm particle injection

An active storm period in June 2015 showed that particle injection events seen sequentially by the four (Magnetospheric Multiscale) MMS spacecraft subsequently fed the enhancement of the outer radiation belt observed by Van Allen Probes mission sensors. Several episodes of significant southward interplanetary magnetic field along with a period of high solar wind speed (Vsw ≳ 500 km/s) on 22 June occurred following strong interplanetary shock wave impacts on the magnetosphere. Key events on 22 June 2015 show that the magnetosphere progressed through a sequence of energy-loading and stress-developing states until the entire system suddenly reconfigured at 19:32 UT. Energetic electrons, plasma, and magnetic fields measured by the four MMS spacecraft revealed clear dipolarization front characteristics. It was seen that magnetospheric substorm activity provided a \textquotedblleftseed\textquotedblright electron population as observed by MMS particle sensors as multiple injections and related enhancements in electron flux.

Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Turner, D.; Nakamura, R.; Schmid, D.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.; Torbert, R.; Dorelli, J.; Gershman, D.; Giles, B.; Burch, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 06/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/grl.v43.1210.1002/2016GL069643

Magnetic reconnection; magnetospheres; Radiation belts; substorms; Van Allen Probes


Comparative Investigation of the Energetic Ion Spectra Comprising the Magnetospheric Ring Currents of the Solar System

Investigated here are factors that control the intensities and shapes of energetic ion spectra that make up the ring current populations of the strongly magnetized planets of the solar system, specifically those of Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Following a previous and similar comparative investigation of radiation belt electrons, we here turn our attention to ions. Specifically, we examine the possible role of the differential ion Kennel-Petschek limit, as moderated by Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves, as a standard for comparing the most intense ion spectra within the strongly magnetized planetary magnetospheres. In carrying out this investigation, the substantial complexities engendered by the very different ion composition distributions of these diverse magnetospheres must be addressed, given that the dispersion properties of the EMIC waves are strongly determined by the ion composition of the plasmas within which the waves propagate. Chosen for comparison are the ion spectra within these systems that are the most intense observed, specifically at 100 keV and 1 MeV. We find that Earth and Jupiter are unique in having their most intense ion spectra likely limited and sculpted by the Kennel-Petschek process. The ion spectra of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune reside far below their respective limits and are likely limited by interactions with gas and dust (Saturn) and by the absence of robust ion acceleration processes (Uranus and Neptune). Suggestions are provided for further testing the efficacy of the differential Kennel-Petschek limit for ions using the Van Allen Probes.

Mauk, B.;

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

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020392

Ion Spectra; Magnetic Storms; Planetary magnetospheres; ring current; Van Allen Probes

The Evolving Space Weather System - Van Allen Probes Contribution

The overarching goal and purpose of the study of space weather is clear - to understand and address the issues caused by solar disturbances on humans and technological systems. Space weather has evolved in the past few decades from a collection of concerned agencies and researchers to a critical function of the National Weather Service of NOAA. The general effects have also evolved from the well-known telegraph disruptions of the mid-1800\textquoterights to modern day disturbances of the electric power grid, communications and navigation, human spaceflight and spacecraft systems. The last two items in this list, and specifically the effects of penetrating radiation, were the impetus for the space weather broadcast implemented on NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes\textquoteright twin pair of satellites, launched in August of 2012 and orbiting directly through Earth\textquoterights severe radiation belts. The Van Allen Probes mission, formerly the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP,, were renamed soon after launch to honor the discoverer of Earth\textquoterights radiation belts at the beginning of the space age, the late James Van Allen (the spacecraft themselves are still referred to as RBSP-A and RBSP-B). The Van Allen Probes (Mauk et al., 2012 and other team contributions in the same special issue of Space Science Reviews, 2012) are one part of NASA\textquoterights Living With a Star (LWS, program formulated to advance the scientific understanding of the connection between solar disturbances, the resulting heliospheric conditions and their effects on the geospace and Earth environment.

Zanetti, L.; Mauk, B.; Fox, N.J.; Barnes, R.J.; Weiss, M.; Sotirelis, T.S.; Raouafi, N.-E.; Kessel, R.; Becker, H.;

Published by: Space Weather      Published on: 10/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014SW001108

Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

The role of small-scale ion injections in the buildup of Earth\textquoterights ring current pressure: Van Allen Probes observations of the March 17 th , 2013 storm

Energetic particle transport into the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms is responsible for significant plasma pressure enhancement, which is the driver of large-scale currents that control the global electrodynamics within the magnetosphere-ionosphere system. Therefore, understanding the transport of plasma from the tail deep into the near-Earth magnetosphere, as well as the energization processes associated with this transport, is essential for a comprehensive knowledge of the near-Earth space environment. During the main phase of a geomagnetic storm on March 17th 2013 (minimum Dst ~ -137 nT), the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) instrument on the Van Allen Probes observed frequent, small-scale proton injections deep into the inner nightside magnetosphere in the region L ~ 4 \textendash 6. Although isolated injections have been previously reported inside geosynchronous orbit, the large number of small-scale injections observed in this event suggests that, during geomagnetic storms injections provide a robust mechanism for transporting energetic ions deep into the inner magnetosphere. In order to understand the role that these injections play in the ring current dynamics, we determine the following properties for each injection: i) associated pressure enhancement, ii) the time duration of this enhancement, iii) and the lowest and highest energy channels exhibiting a sharp increase in their intensities. Based on these properties, we estimate the effect of these small-scale injections on the pressure buildup during the storm. We find that this mode of transport could make a substantial contribution to the total energy gain in the storm-time inner magnetosphere.

Gkioulidou, Matina; Ukhorskiy, A.; Mitchell, D.; Sotirelis, T.; Mauk, B.; Lanzerotti, L.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020096

Geomagnetic storms; Ion injections; ring current; Van Allen Probes

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation and the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation is one of 5 fields-and-particles investigations on the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. MMS comprises 4 spacecraft flying in close formation in highly elliptical, near-Earth-equatorial orbits targeting understanding of the fundamental physics of the important physical process called magnetic reconnection using Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere as a plasma laboratory. EPD comprises two sensor types, the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) with one instrument on each of the 4 spacecraft, and the Fly\textquoterights Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) with 2 instruments on each of the 4 spacecraft. EIS measures energetic ion energy, angle and elemental compositional distributions from a required low energy limit of 20 keV for protons and 45 keV for oxygen ions, up to >0.5 MeV (with capabilities to measure up to >1 MeV). FEEPS measures instantaneous all sky images of energetic electrons from 25 keV to >0.5 MeV, and also measures total ion energy distributions from 45 keV to >0.5 MeV to be used in conjunction with EIS to measure all sky ion distributions. In this report we describe the EPD investigation and the details of the EIS sensor. Specifically we describe EPD-level science objectives, the science and measurement requirements, and the challenges that the EPD team had in meeting these requirements. Here we also describe the design and operation of the EIS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the EIS in-flight and ground operations. Blake et al. (The Flys Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) contribution to the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) investigation of the Magnetospheric Magnetoscale (MMS) Mission, this issue) describe the design and operation of the FEEPS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the FEEPS in-flight and ground operations. The MMS spacecraft will launch in early 2015, and over its 2-year mission will provide comprehensive measurements of magnetic reconnection at Earth\textquoterights magnetopause during the 18 months that comprise orbital phase 1, and magnetic reconnection within Earth\textquoterights magnetotail during the about 6 months that comprise orbital phase 2.

Mauk, B.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.; Clemmons, J.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Jaskulek, S.; Schlemm, C.; Brown, L.; Cooper, S.; Craft, J.; Fennell, J.; Gurnee, R.; Hammock, C.; Hayes, J.; Hill, P.; Ho, G.; Hutcheson, J.; Jacques, A.; Kerem, S.; Mitchell, D.; Nelson, K.; Paschalidis, N.; Rossano, E.; Stokes, M.; Westlake, J.;

Published by: Space Science Reviews      Published on: 06/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0055-5

Magnetic reconnection; Magnetosphere; Magnetospheric multiscale; NASA mission; Particle acceleration; Space plasma

Journal Special Collection Explores Early Results From the Van Allen Probes Mission

The processes governing the charged particle populations in the radiation belts encircling Earth have been the subject of intense interest and increasing concern since their discovery by James Van Allen and his team more than 50 years ago [Baker et al., 2013]. Intense interest continues because we still do not know how the various processes work in concert to enhance, remove, and transport particle radiation. Concern is ongoing because the Van Allen radiation belts pose hazards to astronauts and our ever-growing fleet of spacecraft with increasingly sensitive components.

Mauk, Barry; Sibeck, David; Kessel, Ramona;

Published by: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union      Published on: 04/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/eost.v95.1310.1002/2014EO130007

Van Allen Probes

Rotationally driven zebra stripes in Earth s inner radiation belt

Structured features on top of nominally smooth distributions of radiation-belt particles at Earth have been previously associated with particle acceleration and transport mechanisms powered exclusively by enhanced solar-wind activity1, 2, 3, 4. Although planetary rotation is considered to be important for particle acceleration at Jupiter and Saturn5, 6, 7, 8, 9, the electric field produced in the inner magnetosphere by Earth\textquoterights rotation can change the velocity of trapped particles by only about 1\textendash2 kilometres per second, so rotation has been thought inconsequential for radiation-belt electrons with velocities of about 100,000 kilometres per second. Here we report that the distributions of energetic electrons across the entire spatial extent of Earth\textquoterights inner radiation belt are organized in regular, highly structured and unexpected \textquoteleftzebra stripes\textquoteright, even when the solar-wind activity is low. Modelling reveals that the patterns are produced by Earth\textquoterights rotation. Radiation-belt electrons are trapped in Earth\textquoterights dipole-like magnetic field, where they undergo slow longitudinal drift motion around the planet because of the gradient and curvature of the magnetic field. Earth\textquoterights rotation induces global diurnal variations of magnetic and electric fields that resonantly interact with electrons whose drift period is close to 24 hours, modifying electron fluxes over a broad energy range into regular patterns composed of multiple stripes extending over the entire span of the inner radiation belt.

Ukhorskiy, A; Sitnov, M.; Mitchell, D.; Takahashi, K; Lanzerotti, L.; Mauk, B.;

Published by: Nature      Published on: 01/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1038/nature13046

Magnetospheric physics; Van Allen Probes


Early Results From the Engineering Radiation Monitor (ERM) and Solar Cell Monitor on the Van Allen Probes Mission

The Engineering Radiation Monitor (ERM) measures dose, dose rate and charging currents on the Van Allen Probes mission to study the dynamics of earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts. Early results from this monitor show a variation in dose rates with time, a correlation between the dosimeter and charging current data, a map of charging current versus orbit altitude and a comparison of cumulative dose to pre-launch modeling after 260 days. Solar cell degradation monitor patches track the decrease in solar array output as displacement damage accumulates.

Maurer, Richard; Goldsten, John; Peplowski, Patrick; Holmes-Siedle, Andrew; Butler, Michael; Herrmann, Carl; Mauk, Barry;

Published by: IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science      Published on: Jan-12-2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1109/TNS.2013.2281937

Early Results from the Engineering Radiation Monitor (ERM) and Solar Cell Monitor on the Van Allen Probes Mission

The Engineering Radiation Monitor (ERM) measures dose, dose rate and charging currents on the Van Allen Probes mission to study the dynamics of earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts. Early results from this monitor show a variation in dose rates with time, a correlation between the dosimeter and charging current data, a map of charging current versus orbit altitude and a comparison of cumulative dose to pre-launch modeling after 260 days. Solar cell degradation monitor patches track the decrease in solar array output as displacement damage accumulates.

Maurer, Richard; Goldsten, J.; Peplowski, P.; Holmes-Siedle, A.; Butler, Michael; Herrmann, C.; Mauk, B.;

Published by:       Published on: 11/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1109/TNS.2013.2281937

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

The Engineering Radiation Monitor for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission

An Engineering Radiation Monitor (ERM) has been developed as a supplementary spacecraft subsystem for NASA\textquoterights Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission. The ERM will monitor total dose and deep dielectric charging at each RBSP spacecraft in real time. Configured to take the place of spacecraft balance mass, the ERM contains an array of eight dosimeters and two buried conductive plates. The dosimeters are mounted under covers of varying shielding thickness to obtain a dose-depth curve and characterize the electron and proton contributions to total dose. A 3-min readout cadence coupled with an initial sensitivity of \~0.01 krad should enable dynamic measurements of dose rate throughout the 9-hr RBSP orbit. The dosimeters are Radiation-sensing Field Effect Transistors (RadFETs) and operate at zero bias to preserve their response even when powered off. The range of the RadFETs extends above 1000 krad to avoid saturation over the expected duration of the mission. Two large-area (\~10 cm2) charge monitor plates set behind different thickness covers will measure the dynamic currents of weakly-penetrating electrons that can be potentially hazardous to sensitive electronic components within the spacecraft. The charge monitors can handle large events without saturating (\~3000 fA/cm2) and provide sufficient sensitivity (\~0.1 fA/cm2) to gauge quiescent conditions. High time-resolution (5 s) monitoring allows detection of rapid changes in flux and enables correlation of spacecraft anomalies with local space weather conditions. Although primarily intended as an engineering subsystem to monitor spacecraft radiation levels, real-time data from the ERM may also prove useful or interesting to a larger community.

Goldsten, J.; Maurer, R.; Peplowski, P.; Holmes-Siedle, A.; Herrmann, C.; Mauk, B.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9917-x

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Science Objectives and Rationale for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission

The NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission addresses how populations of high energy charged particles are created, vary, and evolve in space environments, and specifically within Earth\textquoterights magnetically trapped radiation belts. RBSP, with a nominal launch date of August 2012, comprises two spacecraft making in situ measurements for at least 2 years in nearly the same highly elliptical, low inclination orbits (1.1\texttimes5.8 RE, 10o). The orbits are slightly different so that 1 spacecraft laps the other spacecraft about every 2.5 months, allowing separation of spatial from temporal effects over spatial scales ranging from \~0.1 to 5 RE. The uniquely comprehensive suite of instruments, identical on the two spacecraft, measures all of the particle (electrons, ions, ion composition), fields (E and B), and wave distributions (d E and d B) that are needed to resolve the most critical science questions. Here we summarize the high level science objectives for the RBSP mission, provide historical background on studies of Earth and planetary radiation belts, present examples of the most compelling scientific mysteries of the radiation belts, present the mission design of the RBSP mission that targets these mysteries and objectives, present the observation and measurement requirements for the mission, and introduce the instrumentation that will deliver these measurements. This paper references and is followed by a number of companion papers that describe the details of the RBSP mission, spacecraft, and instruments.

Mauk, B.; Fox, N.; Kanekal, S.; Kessel, R.; Sibeck, D.; UKHORSKIY, A;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9908-y

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Analysis of EMIC-wave-moderated flux limitation of measured energetic ion spectra in multispecies magnetospheric plasmas

A differential Kennel-Petschek (KP) flux limit for magnetospheric energetic ions is devised taking into account multiple ion species effects on electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves that scatter the ions. The idea is that EMIC waves may limit the highest ion intensities during acceleration phases of storms and substorms (~ hour) while other mechanisms (e.g., charge exchange) may account for losses below those limits and over longer periods of time. This approach is applied to published Earth magnetosphere energetic ion spectra (~ keV to ~1 MeV) for radial positions (L) 3 to 6.7 RE. The flatness of the most intense spectral shapes for <100 keV indicate sculpting by just such a mechanism, but modifications of traditional KP parameters are needed to account for maximum fluxes up to 5.4 times greater than expected. Future work using the new capabilities of the Van Allen Probes mission will likely resolve outstanding uncertainties.

Mauk, B.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/grl.50789

energetic ions; Radiation belts; ring current; Van Allen Probes


Radiation belt storm probes: Resolving fundamental physics with practical consequences

The fundamental processes that energize, transport, and cause the loss of charged particles operate throughout the universe at locations as diverse as magnetized planets, the solar wind, our Sun, and other stars. The same processes operate within our immediate environment, the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission will provide coordinated two-spacecraft observations to obtain understanding of these fundamental processes controlling the dynamic variability of the near-Earth radiation environment. In this paper we discuss some of the profound mysteries of the radiation belt physics that will be addressed by RBSP and briefly describe the mission and its goals.

Ukhorskiy, Aleksandr; Mauk, Barry; Fox, Nicola; Sibeck, David; Grebowsky, Joseph;

Published by: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics      Published on: 07/2011

YEAR: 2011     DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2010.12.005

Radiation belts; Space weather; Van Allen Probes