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Found 10 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 10


Estimating the Impacts of Radiation Belt Electrons on Atmospheric Chemistry using FIREBIRD II and Van Allen Probes Observations

Abstract This study considers the impact of electron precipitation from Earth s radiation belts on atmospheric composition using observations from the NASA Van Allen Probes and NSF Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range, and Dynamics (FIREBIRD II) CubeSats. Ratios of electron flux between the Van Allen Probes (in near-equatorial orbit in the radiation belts) and FIREBIRD II (in polar low Earth orbit) during spacecraft conjunctions (2015-2017) allow an estimate of precipitation into the atmosphere. Total Radiation Belt Electron Content, calculated from Van Allen Probes RBSP-ECT MagEIS data, identifies a sustained 10-day electron loss event in March 2013 that serves as an initial case study. Atmospheric ionization profiles, calculated by integrating monoenergetic ionization rates across the precipitating electron flux spectrum, provide input to the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model in order to quantify enhancements of atmospheric HOx and NOx and subsequent destruction of O3 in the middle atmosphere. Results suggest that current APEEP parameterizations of radiation belt electrons used in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project may underestimate the duration of events as well as higher energy electron contributions to atmospheric ionization and modeled NOx concentrations in the mesosphere and upper stratosphere.

Duderstadt, K.; Huang, C.-L.; Spence, H.; Smith, S.; Blake, J.; Crew, A.; Johnson, A.; Klumpar, D.; Marsh, D.; Sample, J.; Shumko, M.; Vitt, F.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres      Published on: 03/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

electron precipitation; Radiation belts; ozone; Atmospheric Ionization; Van Allen Probes; FIREBIRD

Energetic Electron Precipitation Observed by FIREBIRD-II Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves: Location, Extent, and Energy Range from a Multi-Event Analysis

Abstract We evaluate the location, extent and energy range of electron precipitation driven by ElectroMagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves using coordinated multi-satellite observations from near-equatorial and Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) missions. Electron precipitation was analyzed using the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD-II) CubeSats, in conjunction either with typical EMIC-driven precipitation signatures observed by Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) or with in situ EMIC wave observations from Van Allen Probes. The multi-event analysis shows that electron precipitation occurred in a broad region near dusk (16–23 MLT), mostly confined to 3.5–7.5 L- shells. Each precipitation event occurred on localized radial scales, on average ∼0.3 L. Most importantly, FIREBIRD-II recorded electron precipitation from ∼200–300 keV to the expected ∼MeV energies for most cases, suggesting that EMIC waves can efficiently scatter a wide energy range of electrons.

Capannolo, L.; Li, W.; Spence, H.; Johnson, A.; Shumko, M.; Sample, J.; Klumpar, D.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; inner magnetosphere; electron losses; proton precipitation; wave-particle interactions; Van Allen Probes


Direct Observation of Subrelativistic Electron Precipitation Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are known to typically cause electron losses into Earth\textquoterights upper atmosphere at >~1 MeV, while the minimum energy of electrons subject to efficient EMIC-driven precipitation loss is unresolved. This letter reports electron precipitation from subrelativistic energies of ~250 keV up to ~1 MeV observed by the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD-II) CubeSats, while two Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) observed proton precipitation nearby. Van Allen Probe A detected EMIC waves (~0.7\textendash2.0 nT) over the similar L shell extent of electron precipitation observed by FIREBIRD-II, albeit with a ~1.6 magnetic local time (MLT) difference. Although plasmaspheric hiss and magnetosonic waves were also observed, quasi-linear calculations indicate that EMIC waves were the most efficient in driving the electron precipitation. Quasi-linear theory predicts efficient precipitation at >0.8\textendash1 MeV (due to H-band EMIC waves), suggesting that other mechanisms are required to explain the observed subrelativistic electron precipitation.

Capannolo, L.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Chen, L.; Shen, X.-C.; Spence, H.; Sample, J.; Johnson, A.; Shumko, M.; Klumpar, D.; Redmon, R.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084202

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; FIREBIRD-II; quasi linear theory; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; wave particle interactions


Impact of Background Magnetic Field for EMIC Wave-Driven Electron Precipitation

Wave-particle interaction between relativistic electrons and electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves is a highly debated loss process contributing to the dynamics of Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. Theoretical studies show that EMIC waves can result in strong loss of relativistic electrons in the radiation belts (Summers \& Thorne, 2003, However, many of these studies have not been validated by observations. Li et al. (2014, modeled the relativistic electron precipitation observed by Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) in a single-event case study based on a quasi-linear diffusion model and observations by Van Allen Probes and GOES 13. We expand upon that study to investigate the localization of the precipitation region and the effectiveness of EMIC waves as an electron loss mechanism.The model results of BARREL 1I observations on 17 January 2013 show that as the BARREL balloon drifts in local time to regions that map to lower equatorial magnetic field strength, the flux of precipitating electrons increases and peaks at lower energy. The hypothesis that the energy of the precipitating electrons is controlled by background magnetic field strength is further tested by considering observations from balloon campaigns conducted from 2000 to 2014, including BARREL. Consistent with theory for wave-particle interaction between relativistic electrons and EMIC waves, we find observationally that stronger equatorial magnetic field strength generally correlates with more energetic electron precipitation and further conclude that magnetic field strength can drive the localization and distribution of precipitating electrons.

Woodger, L.; Millan, R.; Li, Z.; Sample, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025315

electron precipitation; EMIC waves; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Evidence of Microbursts Observed Near the Equatorial Plane in the Outer Van Allen Radiation Belt

We present the first evidence of electron microbursts observed near the equatorial plane in Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt. We observed the microbursts on March 31st, 2017 with the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer and RBSP Ion Composition Experiment on the Van Allen Probes. Microburst electrons with kinetic energies of 29-92 keV were scattered over a substantial range of pitch angles, and over time intervals of 150-500 ms. Furthermore, the microbursts arrived without dispersion in energy, indicating that they were recently scattered near the spacecraft. We have applied the relativistic theory of wave-particle resonant diffusion to the calculated phase space density, revealing that the observed transport of microburst electrons is not consistent with the hypothesized quasi-linear approximation.

Shumko, Mykhaylo; Turner, Drew; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Claudepierre, Seth; Sample, John; Hartley, D.; Fennell, Joseph; Blake, Bernard; Gkioulidou, Matina; Mitchell, Donald;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078451

Van Allen Probes


Observations Directly Linking Relativistic Electron Microbursts to Whistler Mode Chorus: Van Allen Probes and FIREBIRD II

We present observations that provide the strongest evidence yet that discrete whistler mode chorus packets cause relativistic electron microbursts. On 20 January 2016 near 1944 UT the low Earth orbiting CubeSat Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Bursts: Intensity, Range, and Dynamics (FIREBIRD II) observed energetic microbursts (near L = 5.6 and MLT = 10.5) from its lower limit of 220 keV, to 1 MeV. In the outer radiation belt and magnetically conjugate, Van Allen Probe A observed rising-tone, lower band chorus waves with durations and cadences similar to the microbursts. No other waves were observed. This is the first time that chorus and microbursts have been simultaneously observed with a separation smaller than a chorus packet. A majority of the microbursts do not have the energy dispersion expected for trapped electrons bouncing between mirror points. This confirms that the electrons are rapidly (nonlinearly) scattered into the loss cone by a coherent interaction with the large amplitude (up to \~900 pT) chorus. Comparison of observed time-averaged microburst flux and estimated total electron drift shell content at L = 5.6 indicate that microbursts may represent a significant source of energetic electron loss in the outer radiation belt.

Breneman, A.; Crew, A.; Sample, J.; Klumpar, D.; Johnson, A.; Agapitov, O.; Shumko, M.; Turner, D.; Santolik, O.; Wygant, J.; Cattell, C.; Thaller, S.; Blake, B.; Spence, H.; Kletzing, C.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 11/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075001

Chorus; conjunction; FIREBIRD; microburst; Van Allen Probes


Global-scale coherence modulation of radiation-belt electron loss from plasmaspheric hiss

Over 40 years ago it was suggested that electron loss in the region of the radiation belts that overlaps with the region of high plasma density called the plasmasphere, within four to five Earth radii1, 2, arises largely from interaction with an electromagnetic plasma wave called plasmaspheric hiss3, 4, 5. This interaction strongly influences the evolution of the radiation belts during a geomagnetic storm, and over the course of many hours to days helps to return the radiation-belt structure to its \textquoteleftquiet\textquoteright pre-storm configuration. Observations have shown that the long-term electron-loss rate is consistent with this theory but the temporal and spatial dynamics of the loss process remain to be directly verified. Here we report simultaneous measurements of structured radiation-belt electron losses and the hiss phenomenon that causes the losses. Losses were observed in the form of bremsstrahlung X-rays generated by hiss-scattered electrons colliding with the Earth\textquoterights atmosphere after removal from the radiation belts. Our results show that changes of up to an order of magnitude in the dynamics of electron loss arising from hiss occur on timescales as short as one to twenty minutes, in association with modulations in plasma density and magnetic field. Furthermore, these loss dynamics are coherent with hiss dynamics on spatial scales comparable to the size of the plasmasphere. This nearly global-scale coherence was not predicted and may affect the short-term evolution of the radiation belts during active times.

Breneman, A.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Fennell, J.; Sample, J.; Woodger, L.; Hospodarsky, G.; Wygant, J.; Cattell, C.; Goldstein, J.; Malaspina, D.; Kletzing, C.;

Published by: Nature      Published on: 06/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1038/nature14515

Magnetospheric physics; Van Allen Probes

A Summary of the BARREL Campaigns: Technique for studying electron precipitation

The Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) studies the loss of energetic electrons from Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. BARREL\textquoterights array of slowly drifting balloon payloads was designed to capitalize on magnetic conjunctions with NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes. Two campaigns were conducted from Antarctica in 2013 and 2014. During the first campaign in January and February of 2013, there were three moderate geomagnetic storms with Sym-Hmin < -40 nT. Similarly, two minor geomagnetic storms occurred during the second campaign, starting in December of 2013 and continuing on into February of 2014. Throughout the two campaigns, BARREL observed electron precipitation over a wide range of energies and exhibiting temporal structure from 100\textquoterights of milliseconds to hours. Relativistic electron precipitation was observed in the dusk to midnight sector, and microburst precipitation was primarily observed near dawn. In this paper we review the two BARREL science campaigns and discuss the data products and analysis techniques as applied to relativistic electron precipitation observed on 19 January 2013.

Woodger, L.; Halford, A.; Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Smith, D.; Bowers, G.; Sample, J.; Anderson, B.; Liang, X.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020874

electron precipitation; event timing; gamma ray burst; multi-point observation; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; x-ray spectroscopy


Radiation belt losses observed from multiple stratospheric balloons over Antarctica

Relativistic electrons, trapped by Earth\textquoterights magnetic field, have received increasing attention since increasing numbers of commercial and research spacecraft traverse regions of high radiation flux. The Van Allen probes were launched into Earth\textquoterights radiation belts in September 2012, making comprehensive measurements of charged particle fluxes and electromagnetic fields, with the objective of a better understanding of the processes that modulate radiation belt fluxes. Because losses of radiation belt electrons to Earth\textquoterights atmosphere are very difficult to measure from high altitude spacecraft, a balloon-based program, consisting of campaigns in January 2013 and 2014, was funded to measure losses in conjunction with the Van Allen probes mission. We present results from both balloon campaigns, which succeeded in maintaining an array of balloons over Antarctica, achieving spacecraft conjunction measurements, and viewing several periods of disturbed magnetospheric activity. Measurements from a balloon platform uniquely allows loss measurements for several hundred seconds from the same location, and therefore illuminate the role of slow magnetic field variations in radiation belt losses. The coincident measurement of radiation belt losses by the balloon array provides vital information for understanding flux changes at geosynchronous altitudes, giving a means to distinguish true losses from lossless transport away from the spacecraft.

McCarthy, Michael; Millan, Robyn; Sample, John; Smith, David;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929960

Extraterrestrial measurements; Loss measurement; Magnetosphere; Van Allen Probes


The Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL)

BARREL is a multiple-balloon investigation designed to study electron losses from Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts. Selected as a NASA Living with a Star Mission of Opportunity, BARREL augments the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission by providing measurements of relativistic electron precipitation with a pair of Antarctic balloon campaigns that will be conducted during the Austral summers (January-February) of 2013 and 2014. During each campaign, a total of 20 small (\~20 kg) stratospheric balloons will be successively launched to maintain an array of \~5 payloads spread across \~6 hours of magnetic local time in the region that magnetically maps to the radiation belts. Each balloon carries an X-ray spectrometer to measure the bremsstrahlung X-rays produced by precipitating relativistic electrons as they collide with neutrals in the atmosphere, and a DC magnetometer to measure ULF-timescale variations of the magnetic field. BARREL will provide the first balloon measurements of relativistic electron precipitation while comprehensive in situ measurements of both plasma waves and energetic particles are available, and will characterize the spatial scale of precipitation at relativistic energies. All data and analysis software will be made freely available to the scientific community.

Millan, R.; McCarthy, M.; Sample, J.; Smith, D.; Thompson, L.; McGaw, D.; Woodger, L.; Hewitt, J.; Comess, M.; Yando, K.; Liang, A.; Anderson, B.; Knezek, N.; Rexroad, W.; Scheiman, J.; Bowers, G.; Halford, A.; Collier, A.; Clilverd, M.; Lin, R.; Hudson, M.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-9971-z

RBSP; Van Allen Probes