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BARREL observations of a Solar Energetic Electron and Solar Energetic Proton event

During the second Balloon Array for Radiation Belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) campaign two solar energetic proton (SEP) events were observed. Although BARREL was designed to observe X-rays created during electron precipitation events, it is sensitive to X-rays from other sources. The gamma lines produced when energetic protons hit the upper atmosphere are used in this paper to study SEP events. During the second SEP event starting on 7 January 2014 and lasting \~ 3 days, which also had a solar energetic electron (SEE) event occurring simultaneously, BARREL had 6 payloads afloat spanning all MLT sectors and L-values. Three payloads were in a tight array (\~ 2 hrs in MLT and \~ 2 Δ L) inside the inner magnetosphere and at times conjugate in both L and MLT with the Van Allen Probes (approximately once per day). The other three payloads mapped to higher L-values with one payload on open field lines for the entire event while the other two appear to be crossing from open to closed field lines. Using the observations of the SEE and SEP events, we are able to map the open-closed boundary. Halford et al. [2015] demonstrated how BARREL can monitor electron precipitation following an ICME-shock impact at Earth while in this study we look at the SEP event precursor to the arrival of the ICME-Shock in our cradle-to-grave view: from flare, to SEE and SEP events, to radiation belt electron precipitation.

Halford, A.; McGregor, S.; Hudson, M.; Millan, R.; Kress, B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022462

BARREL; electron precipitation; proton precipitation; Solar Energetic Electrons; Solar Energetic Protons; Solar storm; Van Allen Probes


BARREL observations of an ICME-Shock impact with the magnetosphere and the resultant radiation belt electron loss.

The Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) mission of opportunity working in tandem with the Van Allen Probes was designed to study the loss of radiation belt electrons to the ionosphere and upper atmosphere. BARREL is also sensitive to X-rays from other sources. During the second BARREL campaign the Sun produced an X-class flare followed by a solar energetic particle event (SEP) associated with the same active region. Two days later on 9 January 2014 the shock generated by the coronal mass ejection (CME) originating from the active region hit the Earth while BARREL was in a close conjunction with the Van Allen Probes. Time History Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observed the impact of the ICME-shock near the magnetopause, and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellites were on either side of the BARREL/Van Allen Probe array. The solar interplanetary magnetic field was not ideally oriented to cause a significant geomagnetic storm, but compression from the shock impact led to the loss of radiation belt electrons. We propose that an azimuthal electric field impulse generated by magnetopause compression caused inward electron transport and minimal loss. This process also drove chorus waves, which were responsible for most of the precipitation observed outside the plasmapause. Observations of hiss inside the plasmapause explains the absence of loss at this location. ULF waves were found to be correlated withthe structure of the precipitation. We demonstrate how BARREL can monitor precipitation following a ICME-shock impact at Earth in a cradle-to-grave view; from flare, to SEP, to electron precipitation.

Halford, A.; McGregor, S.; Murphy, K.; Millan, R.; Hudson, M.; Woodger, L.; Cattel, C.; Breneman, A.; Mann, I.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Gkioulidou, M.; Fennell, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020873

BARREL; Van Allen Probes