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Found 18 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 18


A statistical analysis of duration and frequency chirping rate of falling tone chorus

AbstractThe duration (τ) and chirping rate (Γ) of whistler mode chorus waves are two of the most important properties to understand chorus generation mechanism and to quantify effects of nonlinear wave particle interactions on radiation belt electron acceleration. In this study, we perform the first statistical analysis of the duration and chirping rate of falling tone chorus elements using Van Allen Probes data.We found that τ increases and Γ decreases with increasing L-shell, although the dependence is weak. The duration from dawnside and dayside have similar distributions, which is a bit longer than those from duskside and nightside. However, Γ has little dependence on MLT. The relation between τ and Γ shows that τ scales with Γ as , supporting one of the previous theoretical models of rising tone chorus in Teng et al.(2017). Our results should provide important insights to deepen our understanding of falling tone chorus excitation.

Xie, Yi; Teng, Shangchun; Wu, Yifan; Tao, Xin;

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

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

chorus waves; falling tone; Frequency chirping; Van Allen Probes


Comparison of Van Allen Probes Energetic Electron Data with Corresponding GOES-15 Measurements: 2012-2018

Baker, D.N.; Zhao, H.; Li, X.; Kanekal, S.G.; Jaynes, A.N.; Kress, B.T.; Rodriguez, J.V.; Singer, H.J.; Claudepierre, S.G.; Fennell, J.F.; Hoxie, V.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027331

energetic particles; Magnetosphere:Inner; Magnetospheric configuration; Radiation belts; Space weather; Van Allen Probes

Multiyear Measurements of Radiation Belt Electrons: Acceleration, Transport, and Loss

In addition to clarifying morphological structures of the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts, it has also been a major achievement of the Van Allen Probes mission to understand more thoroughly how highly relativistic and ultrarelativistic electrons are accelerated deep inside the radiation belts. Prior studies have demonstrated that electrons up to energies of 10 megaelectron volts (MeV) can be produced over broad regions of the outer Van Allen zone on timescales of minutes to a few hours. It often is seen that geomagnetic activity driven by strong solar storms (i.e., coronal mass ejections, or CMEs) almost inexorably leads to relativistic electron production through the intermediary step of intense magnetospheric substorms. In this study, we report observations over the 6-year period 1 September 2012 to 1 September 2018. We focus on data about the relativistic and ultrarelativistic electrons (E>=5 MeV) measured by the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescope sensors on board the Van Allen Probes spacecraft. This work portrays the radiation belt acceleration, transport, and loss characteristics over a wide range of geomagnetic events. We emphasize features seen repeatedly in the data (three-belt structures, \textquotedblleftimpenetrable\textquotedblright barrier properties, and radial diffusion signatures) in the context of acceleration and loss mechanisms. We especially highlight solar wind forcing of the ultrarelativistic electron populations and extended periods when such electrons were absent. The analysis includes new display tools showing spatial features of the mission-long time variability of the outer Van Allen belt emphasizing the remarkable dynamics of the system.

Baker, Daniel; Hoxie, Vaughn; Zhao, Hong; Jaynes, Allison; Kanekal, Shri; Li, Xinlin; Elkington, Scot;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026259

convection electric field; Energetic particle deep penetration; Low L Region; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes


The Response of the Energy Content of the Outer Electron Radiation Belt to Geomagnetic Storms

Using the data from the Van Allen Probe-A spacecraft, the variability of the total outer radiation belt (2.5300 keV) is investigated for the first time during 51 isolated storms spanning from October 2012 to May 2017. The statistical results show that the TRBEEC exhibits no-change in 20\% of the storms and gets enhanced during 80\% of them. The sub-relativistic electrons (300-500 keV) and relativistic electrons (0.5-2.0 MeV) equally contribute to the TRBEEC during the main phases, while in the recovery phases, the relativistic electrons contribute up to 80\% of the TRBEEC. The results of the superposed epoch analysis of the solar wind parameters and geomagnetic indices indicate that the TRBEEC enhancement events preferably occur during the prolonged southward IMF period when the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling is more efficient. Meanwhile, the high AE index with intense injections of several hundreds of keV \textquotedblleftseed\textquotedblright electrons also favors the increase of the TRBEEC. Case study shows that there is a localized growing PSD (phase space density) peak around L*=4.3 and the chorus wave energy and the gain of TRBEEC are on the same order of magnitude, which may suggest that the enhancement of the TRBEEC is the consequence of the chorus acceleration. Understanding the energy budget of the outer zone electrons can provide more insight into the energy transfer from plasma waves to the energetic electron population, especially for revealing the underlying physics of the energization of outer radiation belt electrons via chorus wave acceleration.

Xiong, Ying; Xie, Lun; Chen, Lunjin; Ni, Binbin; Fu, Suiyan; Pu, Zuyin;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025475

Chorus wave; energetic particles; energy content; magnetic storm; outer radiation belt; Van Allen Probes

Rapid Enhancements of the Seed Populations in the Heart of the Earth\textquoterights Outer Radiation Belt: A Multicase Study

To better understand rapid enhancements of the seed populations (hundreds of keV electrons) in the heart of the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt (L* ~ 3.5\textendash5.0) during different geomagnetic activities, we investigate three enhancement events measured by Van Allen Probes in detail. Observations of the fluxes and the pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons are analyzed to determine rapid enhancements of the seed populations. Our study shows that three specified processes associated with substorm electron injections can lead to rapid enhancements of the seed populations, and the electron energy increases up to 342 keV. In the first process, substorm electron injections accompanied by the transient and intense substorm electric fields can directly lead to rapid enhancements of the seed populations in the heart of the outer radiation belt. In the second process, the substorm injected electrons are first trapped in the outer radiation belt and subsequently transported into L* < 4.5 by the convection electric field. In the third process, the lower energy electrons are first injected at L* ~ 5.3 and then undergo drift resonance with ultralow-frequency waves. These accelerated electrons by ultralow-frequency waves are further transported into L* < 4.5 due to the convection electric field. This process is consistent with the radial diffusion. Our results suggest that these specified processes are important for understanding the dynamics of the seed populations in the heart of the outer radiation belt.

Tang, C.; Xie, X.; Ni, B.; Su, Z.; Reeves, G.; Zhang, J.-C.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Funsten, H.; Blake, J.; Wygant, J.; Dai, G;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2017JA025142

enhanced convection; Substorm Injections; the outer radiation belt; the seed population; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes

Modeling the Proton Radiation Belt With Van Allen Probes Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescope Data

An empirical model of the proton radiation belt is constructed from data taken during 2013\textendash2017 by the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on the Van Allen Probes satellites. The model intensity is a function of time, kinetic energy in the range 18\textendash600 MeV, equatorial pitch angle, and L shell of proton guiding centers. Data are selected, on the basis of energy deposits in each of the nine silicon detectors, to reduce background caused by hard proton energy spectra at low L. Instrument response functions are computed by Monte Carlo integration, using simulated proton paths through a simplified structural model, to account for energy loss in shielding material for protons outside the nominal field of view. Overlap of energy channels, their wide angular response, and changing satellite orientation require the model dependencies on all three independent variables be determined simultaneously. This is done by least squares minimization with a customized steepest descent algorithm. Model uncertainty accounts for statistical data error and systematic error in the simulated instrument response. A proton energy spectrum is also computed from data taken during the 8 January 2014 solar event, to illustrate methods for the simpler case of an isotropic and homogeneous model distribution. Radiation belt and solar proton results are compared to intensities computed with a simplified, on-axis response that can provide a good approximation under limited circumstances.

Selesnick, R.; Baker, D.; Kanekal, S.; Hoxie, V.; Li, X.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024661

data; protons; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes


The Radiation Belt Electron Scattering by Magnetosonic Wave: Dependence on Key Parameters

Magnetosonic (MS) waves have been found capable of creating radiation belt electron butterfly distributions in the inner magnetosphere. To investigate the physical nature of the interactions between radiation belt electrons and MS waves, and to explore a preferential condition for MS waves to scatter electrons efficiently, we performed a comprehensive parametric study of MS wave-electron interactions using test particle simulations. The diffusion coefficients simulated by varying the MS wave frequency show that the scattering effect of MS waves is frequency insensitive at low harmonics (f < 20 fcp), which has great implications on modeling the electron scattering caused by MS waves with harmonic structures. The electron scattering caused by MS waves is very sensitive to wave normal angles, and MS waves with off 90\textdegree wave normal angles scatter electrons more efficiently. By simulating the diffusion coefficients and the electron phase space density evolution at different L shells under different plasma environment circumstances, we find that MS waves can readily produce electron butterfly distributions in the inner part of the plasmasphere where the ratio of electron plasma-to-gyrofrequency (fpe/fce) is large, while they may essentially form a two-peak distribution outside the plasmapause and in the inner radiation belt where fpe/fce is small.

Lei, Mingda; Xie, Lun; Li, Jinxing; Pu, Zuyin; Fu, Suiyan; Ni, Binbin; Hua, Man; Chen, Lunjin; Li, Wen;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023801

magnetosonic wave; parametric study; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; Wave-particle interaction

Analysis of the Duration of Rising Tone Chorus Elements

The duration of chorus elements is an important parameter to understand chorus excitation and to quantify the effects of nonlinear wave-particle interactions on energetic electron dynamics. In this work, we analyze the duration of rising tone chorus elements statistically using Van Allen Probes data. We present the distribution of chorus element duration (τ) as a function of magnetic local time (MLT) and the geomagnetic activity level characterized by auroral electrojet (AE) index. We show that the typical value of τ for nightside and dawnside is about 0.12 s, smaller than that for dayside and duskside by about a factor of 2 to 4. Using a previously developed hybrid code, DAWN, we suggest that the background magnetic field inhomogeneity might be an important factor in controlling the chorus element duration. We also report that τ is larger during quiet times and shorter during moderate and active periods; this result is consistent with the MLT dependence of τ and the occurrence pattern of chorus waves at different levels of geomagnetic activity. We then investigate the correlation between τ and the frequency chirping rate (Γ). We show that, from observation, τ scales with Γ as math formula, suggesting that statistically the frequency range of chorus elements (τΓ) should be roughly the same for different elements. These findings should be useful to the further development of a theoretical model of chorus excitation and to the quantification of nonlinear wave-particle interactions on energetic electron dynamics.

Teng, S.; Tao, X.; Xie, Y.; Zonca, F.; Chen, L.; Fang, W.; Wang, S.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075824

chorus element duration; DAWN; frequency chirping rate; Van Allen Probes

Multiple-satellite observation of magnetic dip event during the substorm on 10 October, 2013

We present a multiple-satellite observation of the magnetic dip event during the substorm on October 10, 2013. The observation illustrates the temporal and spatial evolution of the magnetic dip and gives a compelling evidence that ring current ions induce the magnetic dip by enhanced plasma beta. The dip moves with the energetic ions in a comparable drift velocity and affects the dynamics of relativistic electrons in the radiation belt. In addition, the magnetic dip provides a favorable condition for the EMIC wave generation based on the linear theory analysis. The calculated proton diffusion coefficients show that the observed EMIC wave can lead to the pitch angle scattering losses of the ring current ions, which in turn partially relax the magnetic dip in the observations. This study enriches our understanding of magnetic dip evolution and demonstrates the important role of the magnetic dip for the coupling of radiation belt and ring current.

He, Zhaoguo; Chen, Lunjin; Zhu, Hui; Xia, Zhiyang; Reeves, G.; Xiong, Ying; Xie, Lun; Cao, Yong;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074869

EMIC wave; magnetic dip; radiation belt electrons; Ring current ions; Van Allen Probes

Relativistic electron\textquoterights butterfly pitch angle distribution modulated by localized background magnetic field perturbation driven by hot ring current ions

Dayside modulated relativistic electron\textquoterights butterfly pitch angle distributions (PADs) from \~200 keV to 2.6 MeV were observed by Van Allen Probe B at L = 5.3 on 15 November 2013. They were associated with localized magnetic dip driven by hot ring current ion (60\textendash100 keV proton and 60\textendash200 keV helium and oxygen) injections. We reproduce the electron\textquoterights butterfly PADs at satellite\textquoterights location using test particle simulation. The simulation results illustrate that a negative radial flux gradient contributes primarily to the formation of the modulated electron\textquoterights butterfly PADs through inward transport due to the inductive electric field, while deceleration due to the inductive electric field and pitch angle change also makes in part contribution. We suggest that localized magnetic field perturbation, which is a frequent phenomenon in the magnetosphere during magnetic disturbances, is of great importance for creating electron\textquoterights butterfly PADs in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts.

Xiong, Ying; Chen, Lunjin; Xie, Lun; Fu, Suiyan; Xia, Zhiyang; Pu, Zuyin;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 05/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017GL072558

butterfly distribution; Radiation belt; ring current; Van Allen Probes


Occurrence Characteristics of Outer Zone Relativistic Electron Butterfly Distribution: A Survey of Van Allen Probes REPT Measurements

Using Van Allen Probes REPT pitch angle resolved electron flux data from September 2012 to March 2015, we investigate in detail the global occurrence pattern of equatorial (|λ| <= 3\textdegree) butterfly distribution of outer zone relativistic electrons and its potential correlation with the solar wind dynamic pressure. The statistical results demonstrate that these butterfly distributions occur with the highest occurrence rate ~ 80\% at ~ 20 \textendash 04 MLT and L > ~ 5.5 and with the second peak (> ~ 50 \%) at ~ 11 \textendash 15 MLT of lower L-shells ~ 4.0. They can also extend to L = 3.5 and to other MLT intervals but with the occurrence rates predominantly < ~25\%. It is further shown that outer zone relativistic electron butterfly distributions are likely to peak between 58\textdegree - 79\textdegree for L = 4.0 and 5.0 and between 37\textdegree - 58\textdegree for L = 6.0, regardless of the level of solar wind dynamic pressure. Relativistic electron butterfly distributions at L = 4.0 also exhibit a pronounced day-night asymmetry in response to the Pdynvariations. Compared to the significant L-shell and MLT dependence of the global occurrence pattern, outer zone relativistic electron butterfly distributions show much less but still discernable sensitivity to Pdyn, geomagnetic activity level, and electron energy, the full understanding of which requires future attempts of detailed simulations that combine and differentiate underlying physical mechanisms of the geomagnetic field asymmetry and scattering by various magnetospheric waves.

Ni, Binbin; Zou, Zhengyang; Li, Xinlin; Bortnik, Jacob; Xie, Lun; Gu, Xudong;

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

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069350

butterfly pitch angle distributions; global occurrence pattern; outer radiation belt; relativistic electrons; Van Allen Probes

Formation of Energetic Electron Butterfly Distributions by Magnetosonic Waves via Landau Resonance

Radiation belt electrons can exhibit different types of pitch angle distributions in response to various magnetospheric processes. Butterfly distributions, characterized by flux minima at pitch angles around 90\textdegree, are broadly observed in both the outer and inner belts and the slot region. Butterfly distributions close to the outer magnetospheric boundary have been attributed to drift shell splitting and losses to the magnetopause. However, their occurrence in the inner belt and the slot region has hitherto not been resolved. By analyzing the particle and wave data collected by the Van Allen Probes during a geomagnetic storm, we combine test particle calculations and Fokker-Planck simulations to reveal that scattering by equatorial magnetosonic waves is a significant cause for the formation of energetic electron butterfly distributions in the inner magnetosphere. Another event shows that a large-amplitude magnetosonic wave in the outer belt can create electron butterfly distributions in just a few minutes.

Li, Jinxing; Ni, Binbin; Ma, Qianli; Xie, Lun; Pu, Zuyin; Fu, Suiyan; Thorne, R.; Bortnik, J.; Chen, Lunjin; Li, Wen; Baker, Daniel; Kletzing, Craig; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Fennell, Joseph; Reeves, Geoffrey; Spence, Harlan; Funsten, Herbert; Summers, Danny;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067853

butterfly distributions; energetic electrons; Landau resonance; magnetosonic waves; Radiation belt; Van Allen Probes


Responses of relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt to geomagnetic storms

Geomagnetic storms can either increase or decrease relativistic electron fluxes in the outer radiation belt. A statistical survey of 84 isolated storms demonstrates that geomagnetic storms preferentially decrease relativistic electron fluxes at higher energies, while flux enhancements are more common at lower energies. In about 87\% of the storms, 0.3\textendash2.5 MeV electron fluxes show an increase, whereas 2.5\textendash14 MeV electron fluxes increase in only 35\% of the storms. Superposed epoch analyses suggest that such \textquotedblleftenergy-dependent\textquotedblright responses of electrons preferably occur during conditions of high solar wind density which is favorable to generate magnetospheric electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, and these events are associated with relatively weaker chorus activities. We have examined one of the cases where observed EMIC waves can resonate effectively with >2.5 MeV electrons and scatter them into the atmosphere. The correlation study further illustrates that electron flux dropouts during storm main phases do not correlate well with the flux buildup during storm recovery phases. We suggest that a combination of efficient EMIC-induced scattering and weaker chorus-driven acceleration provides a viable candidate for the energy-dependent responses of outer radiation belt relativistic electrons to geomagnetic storms. These results are of great interest to both understanding of the radiation belt dynamics and applications in space weather.

Xiong, Ying; Xie, Lun; Pu, Zuyin; Fu, Suiyan; Chen, Lunjin; Ni, Binbin; Li, Wen; Li, Jinxing; Guo, Ruilong; Parks, G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021440

energy dependence; Geomagnetic storm; Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; Solar wind

Resonant scattering of outer zone relativistic electrons by multiband EMIC waves and resultant electron loss time scales

To improve our understanding of the role of electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves in radiation belt electron dynamics, we perform a comprehensive analysis of EMIC wave-induced resonant scattering of outer zone relativistic (>0.5 MeV) electrons and resultant electron loss time scales with respect to EMIC wave band, L shell, and wave normal angle model. The results demonstrate that while H+-band EMIC waves dominate the scattering losses of ~1\textendash4 MeV outer zone relativistic electrons, it is He+-band and O+-band waves that prevail over the pitch angle diffusion of ultrarelativistic electrons at higher energies. Given the wave amplitude, EMIC waves at higher L shells tend to resonantly interact with a larger population of outer zone relativistic electrons and drive their pitch angle scattering more efficiently. Obliquity of EMIC waves can reduce the efficiency of wave-induced relativistic electron pitch angle scattering. Compared to the frequently adopted parallel or quasi-parallel model, use of the latitudinally varying wave normal angle model produces the largest decrease in H+-band EMIC wave scattering rates at pitch angles < ~40\textdegree for electrons > ~5 MeV. At a representative nominal amplitude of 1 nT, EMIC wave scattering produces the equilibrium state (i.e., the lowest normal mode under which electrons at the same energy but different pitch angles decay exponentially on the same time scale) of outer belt relativistic electrons within several to tens of minutes and the following exponential decay extending to higher pitch angles on time scales from <1 min to ~1 h. The electron loss cone can be either empty as a result of the weak diffusion or heavily/fully filled due to approaching the strong diffusion limit, while the trapped electron population at high pitch angles close to 90\textdegree remains intact because of no resonant scattering. In this manner, EMIC wave scattering has the potential to deepen the anisotropic distribution of outer zone relativistic electrons by reshaping their pitch angle profiles to \textquotedbllefttop-hat.\textquotedblright Overall, H+-band and He+-band EMIC waves are most efficient in producing the pitch angle scattering loss of relativistic electrons at ~1\textendash2 MeV. In contrast, the presence of O+-band EMIC waves, while at a smaller occurrence rate, can dominate the scattering loss of 5\textendash10 MeV electrons in the entire region of the outer zone, which should be considered in future modeling of the outer zone relativistic electron dynamics.

Ni, Binbin; Cao, Xing; Zou, Zhengyang; Zhou, Chen; Gu, Xudong; Bortnik, Jacob; Zhang, Jichun; Fu, Song; Zhao, Zhengyu; Shi, Run; Xie, Lun;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021466

electron loss time scales; EMIC waves; outer radiation belt; relativistic electrons; resonant wave-particle interactions


An impenetrable barrier to ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts

Early observations1, 2 indicated that the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts could be separated into an inner zone dominated by high-energy protons and an outer zone dominated by high-energy electrons. Subsequent studies3, 4 showed that electrons of moderate energy (less than about one megaelectronvolt) often populate both zones, with a deep \textquoteleftslot\textquoteright region largely devoid of particles between them. There is a region of dense cold plasma around the Earth known as the plasmasphere, the outer boundary of which is called the plasmapause. The two-belt radiation structure was explained as arising from strong electron interactions with plasmaspheric hiss just inside the plasmapause boundary5, with the inner edge of the outer radiation zone corresponding to the minimum plasmapause location6. Recent observations have revealed unexpected radiation belt morphology7, 8, especially at ultrarelativistic kinetic energies9, 10 (more than five megaelectronvolts). Here we analyse an extended data set that reveals an exceedingly sharp inner boundary for the ultrarelativistic electrons. Additional, concurrently measured data11 reveal that this barrier to inward electron radial transport does not arise because of a physical boundary within the Earth\textquoterights intrinsic magnetic field, and that inward radial diffusion is unlikely to be inhibited by scattering by electromagnetic transmitter wave fields. Rather, we suggest that exceptionally slow natural inward radial diffusion combined with weak, but persistent, wave\textendashparticle pitch angle scattering deep inside the Earth\textquoterights plasmasphere can combine to create an almost impenetrable barrier through which the most energetic Van Allen belt electrons cannot migrate.

Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Hoxie, V.; Thorne, R.; Foster, J.; Li, X.; Fennell, J.; Wygant, J.; Kanekal, S.; Erickson, P.; Kurth, W.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Schiller, Q.; Blum, L.; Malaspina, D.; Gerrard, A.; Lanzerotti, L.;

Published by: Nature      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1038/nature13956

Magnetospheric physics; ultrarelativistic electrons; Van Allen Belts; Van Allen Probes


James Van Allen and His Namesake NASA Mission

In many ways, James A. Van Allen defined and \textquotedblleftinvented\textquotedblright modern space research. His example showed the way for government-university partners to pursue basic research that also served important national and international goals. He was a tireless advocate for space exploration and for the role of space science in the spectrum of national priorities.

Baker, D.; Hoxie, V.; Jaynes, A.; Kale, A.; Kanekal, S.; Li, X.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union      Published on: 12/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/eost.v94.4910.1002/2013EO490001

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

The Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescope (REPT) Instrument on Board the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Spacecraft: Characterization of Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belt High-Energy Particle Populations

Particle acceleration and loss in the million electron Volt (MeV) energy range (and above) is the least understood aspect of radiation belt science. In order to measure cleanly and separately both the energetic electron and energetic proton components, there is a need for a carefully designed detector system. The Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescope (REPT) on board the Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) pair of spacecraft consists of a stack of high-performance silicon solid-state detectors in a telescope configuration, a collimation aperture, and a thick case surrounding the detector stack to shield the sensors from penetrating radiation and bremsstrahlung. The instrument points perpendicular to the spin axis of the spacecraft and measures high-energy electrons (up to \~20 MeV) with excellent sensitivity and also measures magnetospheric and solar protons to energies well above E=100 MeV. The instrument has a large geometric factor (g=0.2 cm2 sr) to get reasonable count rates (above background) at the higher energies and yet will not saturate at the lower energy ranges. There must be fast enough electronics to avert undue dead-time limitations and chance coincidence effects. The key goal for the REPT design is to measure the directional electron intensities (in the range 10-2\textendash106 particles/cm2 s sr MeV) and energy spectra (ΔE/E\~25 \%) throughout the slot and outer radiation belt region. Present simulations and detailed laboratory calibrations show that an excellent design has been attained for the RBSP needs. We describe the engineering design, operational approaches, science objectives, and planned data products for REPT.

Baker, D.; Kanekal, S.; Hoxie, V.; Batiste, S.; Bolton, M.; Li, X.; Elkington, S.; Monk, S.; Reukauf, R.; Steg, S.; Westfall, J.; Belting, C.; Bolton, B.; Braun, D.; Cervelli, B.; Hubbell, K.; Kien, M.; Knappmiller, S.; Wade, S.; Lamprecht, B.; Stevens, K.; Wallace, J.; Yehle, A.; Spence, H.; Friedel, R.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-012-9950-9

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

A Long-Lived Relativistic Electron Storage Ring Embedded in Earth\textquoterights Outer Van Allen Belt

Since their discovery more than 50 years ago, Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts have been considered to consist of two distinct zones of trapped, highly energetic charged particles. The outer zone is composed predominantly of megaelectron volt (MeV) electrons that wax and wane in intensity on time scales ranging from hours to days, depending primarily on external forcing by the solar wind. The spatially separated inner zone is composed of commingled high-energy electrons and very energetic positive ions (mostly protons), the latter being stable in intensity levels over years to decades. In situ energy-specific and temporally resolved spacecraft observations reveal an isolated third ring, or torus, of high-energy (>2 MeV) electrons that formed on 2 September 2012 and persisted largely unchanged in the geocentric radial range of 3.0 to ~3.5 Earth radii for more than 4 weeks before being disrupted (and virtually annihilated) by a powerful interplanetary shock wave passage.

Baker, D.; Kanekal, S.; Hoxie, V.; Henderson, M.; Li, X.; Spence, H.; Elkington, S.; Friedel, R.; Goldstein, J.; Hudson, M.; Reeves, G.; Thorne, R.; Kletzing, C.; Claudepierre, S.;

Published by: Science      Published on: 04/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1126/science.1233518

RBSP; Van Allen Probes