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The effects of the big storm events in the first half of 2015 on the radiation belts observed by EPT/PROBA-V

With the energetic particle telescope (EPT) performing with direct electron and proton discrimination on board the ESA satellite PROBA-V, we analyze the high-resolution measurements of the charged particle radiation environment at an altitude of 820 km for the year 2015. On 17 March 2015, a big geomagnetic storm event injected unusual fluxes up to low radial distances in the radiation belts. EPT electron measurements show a deep dropout at L > 4 starting during the main phase of the storm, associated to the penetration of high energy fluxes at L < 2 completely filling the slot region. After 10 days, the formation of a new slot around L = 2.8 for electrons of 500\textendash600 keV separates the outer belt from the belt extending at other longitudes than the South Atlantic Anomaly. Two other major events appeared in January and June 2015, again with injections of electrons in the inner belt, contrary to what was observed in 2013 and 2014. These observations open many perspectives to better understand the source and loss mechanisms, and particularly concerning the formation of three belts.

Pierrard, V.; Rosson, G.;

Published by: Annales Geophysicae      Published on: 01/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.5194/angeo-34-75-2016

Van Allen Probes