• Clicking on the title will open a new window with all details of the bibliographic entry.
  • Clicking on the DOI link will open a new window with the original bibliographic entry from the publisher.
  • Clicking on a single author will show all publications by the selected author.
  • Clicking on a single keyword, will show all publications by the selected keyword.

Found 14 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 14


New Insights From Long-Term Measurements of Inner Belt Protons (10s of MeV) by SAMPEX, POES, Van Allen Probes, and Simulation Results

The Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) mission provided long-term measurements of 10s of megaelectron volt (MeV) inner belt (L < 2) protons (1992–2009) as did the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite-18 (POES-18, 2005 to present). These long-term measurements at low-Earth orbit (LEO) showed clear solar cycle variations which anticorrelate with sunspot number. However, the magnitude of the variation is much greater than the solar cycle variation of galactic cosmic rays (>GeV) that are regarded as a source of these trapped protons. Furthermore, the proton fluxes and their variations sensitively depend on the altitude above the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region. With respect to protons (>36 MeV) mirroring near the magnetic equator, both POES measurements and simulations show no obvious solar cycle variations at L > 1.2. This is also confirmed by recent measurements from the Van Allen Probes (2012–2019), but there are clear solar cycle variations and a strong spatial gradient of the proton flux below L = 1.2. A direct comparison between measurements and simulations leads to the conclusion that energy loss of trapped protons due to collisions with free and bound electrons in the ionosphere and atmosphere is the dominant mechanism for the strong spatial gradient and solar cycle variation of the inner belt protons. This fact is also key of importance for spacecraft and instrument design and operation in near-Earth space.

Li, Xinlin; Xiang, Zheng; Zhang, Kun; Khoo, Lengying; Zhao, Hong; Baker, Daniel; Temerin, Michael;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

Inner radiation belt; Inner Belt Proton; Solar cycle variation; Cosmic rays; neutron monitor; Low Earth Orbit satellite; Van Allen Probes

Properties of Lightning Generated Whistlers Based on Van Allen Probes Observations and Their Global Effects on Radiation Belt Electron Loss

Lightning generated whistlers (LGWs) play an important role in precipitating energetic electrons in the Earth s inner radiation belt and beyond. Wave burst data from the Van Allen Probes are used to unambiguously identify LGWs and analyze their properties at L < 4 by extending their frequencies down to ~100 Hz for the first time. The statistical results show that LGWs typically occur at frequencies from 100 Hz to 10 kHz with the major wave power below the equatorial lower hybrid resonance frequency, and their wave amplitudes are typically strong at L < 3 with an occurrence rate up to ~30\% on the nightside. The lifetime calculation indicates that LGWs play an important role in scattering electrons from tens of keV to several MeV at L < ~2.5. Our newly constructed LGW models are critical for evaluating the global effects of LGWs on energetic electron loss at L < 4.

Green, A.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Shen, X.-C.; Bortnik, J.; Hospodarsky, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

lightning generated whistlers; electron precipitation; Inner radiation belt; hiss; VLF transmitter waves; global distribution; Van Allen Probes

Experimental Determination of the Conditions Associated With “Zebra Stripe” Pattern Generation in the Earth s Inner Radiation Belt and Slot Region

The “zebra stripes” are peaks and valleys commonly present in the spectrograms of energetic particles trapped in the Earth s inner belt and slot region. Several theories have been proposed over the years to explain their generation, structure, and evolution. Yet, the plausibility of various theories has not been tested due to a historical lack of ground truth, including in situ electric field measurements. In this work, we leverage the new visibility offered by the database of Van Allen Probes electric drift measurements to reveal the conditions associated with the generation of zebra stripe patterns. Energetic electron fluxes by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2015 are systematically analyzed to determine 370 start times associated with the generation of zebra stripes. Statistical analyses of these events reveal that the zebra stripes are usually created during substorm onset, a time at which prompt penetration electric fields are present in the plasmasphere. All the pieces of experimental evidence collected are consistent with a scenario in which the prompt penetration electric field associated with substorm onset leads to a sudden perturbation of the trapped particle drift motion. Subsequent drift echoes constitute the zebra stripes. This study exemplifies how the analysis of trapped particle dynamics in the inner belt and slot region provides complementary information on the dynamics of plasmaspheric electric fields. It is the first time that the signature of prompt penetration electric fields is detected in near-equatorial electric field measurements below L = 3.

Lejosne, Solène; Mozer, Forrest;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

zebra stripes; superposed epoch analysis; prompt penetration electric fields; Inner radiation belt; substorm; Van Allen Probes


Characteristics of high energy proton responses to geomagnetic activities in the inner radiation belt observed by the RBSP satellite

High energy trapped particles in the radiation belts constitute potential threats to the functionality of satellites as they enter into those regions. In the inner radiation belt, the characteristics of high-energy (>20MeV) protons variations during geomagnetic activity times have been studied by implementing four-year (2013-2016) observations of the Van Allen probes. An empirical formula has been used to remove the satellite orbit effect, by which proton fluxes have been normalized to the geomagnetic equator. Case studies show that the region of L<1.7 is relatively stable, while L>1.7 is more dynamic and the most significant variation of proton fluxes occurs at L=2.0. The four-year survey at L=2.0 indicates that for every geomagnetic storm, sharp descent in proton fluxes is accompanied by the corresponding depression of SYM-H index, with a one-to-one correspondence, regardless of the storm intensity. Proton fluxes dropouts are synchronous with SYM-H reduction with similar short timescales. Our observational results reveal that high-energy protons in the inner radiation belt are very dynamic, especially for the outer zone of the inner belt, which is beyond our previous knowledge.

Xu, Jiyao; He, Zhaohai; Baker, D.N.; Roth, Ilan; Wang, C.; Kanekal, S.G.; Jaynes, A.N.; Liu, Xiao;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 05/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026205

geomagnetic activities; high energy proton; Inner radiation belt; one-to-one correspondence; prompt responses; RBSP satellite; Van Allen Probes


Magnetic activity dependence of the electric drift below L=3

More than two years of magnetic and electric field measurements by the Van Allen Probes are analyzed with the objective of determining the average effects of magnetic activity on the electric drift below L=3. The study finds that an increase in magnetospheric convection leads to a decrease in the magnitude of the azimuthal component of the electric drift, especially in the night-side. The amplitude of the slowdown is a function of L, local time MLT, and Kp, in a pattern consistent with the storm-time dynamics of the ionosphere and thermosphere. To a lesser extent, magnetic activity also alters the average radial component of the electric drift below L=3. A global picture for the average variations of the electric drift with Kp is provided as a function of L and MLT. It is the first time that the signature of the ionospheric disturbance dynamo is observed in near-equatorial electric drift measurements.

Lejosne, ène; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL077873

electric drift; electric field; Inner radiation belt; ionospheric disturbance dynamo; plasmasphere; subcorotation; Van Allen Probes


Typical values of the electric drift E \texttimes B / B 2 in the inner radiation belt and slot region as determined from Van Allen Probe measurements

The electric drift E \texttimes B/B2 plays a fundamental role for the description of plasma flow and particle acceleration. Yet it is not well-known in the inner belt and slot region because of a lack of reliable in situ measurements. In this article, we present an analysis of the electric drifts measured below L ~ 3 by both Van Allen Probes A and B from September 2012 to December 2014. The objective is to determine the typical components of the equatorial electric drift in both radial and azimuthal directions. The dependences of the components on radial distance, magnetic local time, and geographic longitude are examined. The results from Van Allen Probe A agree with Van Allen Probe B. They show, among other things, a typical corotation lag of the order of 5 to 10\% below L ~ 2.6, as well as a slight radial transport of the order of 20 m s-1. The magnetic local time dependence of the electric drift is consistent with that of the ionosphere wind dynamo below L ~ 2 and with that of a solar wind-driven convection electric field above L ~ 2. A secondary longitudinal dependence of the electric field is also found. Therefore, this work also demonstrates that the instruments on board Van Allen Probes are able to perform accurate measurements of the electric drift below L ~ 3.

Lejosne, ène; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA023613

electric drift; electric field; Inner radiation belt; plasmasphere; subcorotation; Van Allen Probes

Control of the innermost electron radiation belt by large-scale electric fields

Electron measurements from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer instruments on Van Allen Probes, for kinetic energies \~100 to 400 keV, show characteristic dynamical features of the innermost ( inline image) radiation belt: rapid injections, slow decay, and structured energy spectra. There are also periods of steady or slowly increasing intensity and of fast decay following injections. Local time asymmetry, with higher intensity near dawn, is interpreted as evidence for drift shell distortion by a convection electric field of magnitude \~0.4 mV/m during geomagnetically quiet times. Fast fluctuations in the electric field, on the drift time scale, cause inward diffusion. Assuming that they are proportional to changes in Kp, the resulting diffusion coefficient is sufficient to replenish trapped electrons lost by atmospheric scattering. Major electric field increases cause injections by inward electron transport. An injection associated with the June 2015 magnetic storm is consistent with an enhanced field magnitude \~5 mV/m. Subsequent drift echoes cause spectral structure.

Selesnick, R.; Su, Y.-J.; Blake, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022973

electric field; electrons; Inner radiation belt; Van Allen Probes

Formation of the inner electron radiation belt by enhanced large-scale electric fields

A two-dimensional bounce-averaged test particle code was developed to examine trapped electron trajectories during geomagnetic storms with the assumption of conservation of the first and second adiabatic invariants. The March 2013 storm was selected as an example because the geomagnetic activity Kp index sharply increased from 2 + to 7- at 6:00 UT on 17 March. Electron measurements with energies between 37 and 460 keV from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) instrument onboard Van Allen Probes (VAP) are used as initial conditions prior to the storm onset and served to validate test particle simulations during the storm. Simulation results help to interpret the observed electron injection as nondiffusive radial transport over a short distance in the inner belt and slot region based on various electric field models, although the quantitative comparisons are not precise. We show that electron drift trajectories are sensitive to the selection of electric field models. Moreover, our simulation results suggest that the actual field strength of penetration electric fields during this storm is stronger than any existing electric field model, particularly for L <= 2.

Su, Yi-Jiun; Selesnick, Richard; Blake, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016JA022881

DC electric fields; electron injections; Inner radiation belt; test particle simulation; Van Allen Probes; Van Allen Probes electron measurements

Van Allen Probe measurements of the electric drift E \texttimes B/B2 at Arecibo\textquoterights L = 1.4 field line coordinate

We have used electric and magnetic measurements by Van Allen Probe B from 2013 to 2014 to examine the equatorial electric drift E \texttimes B/B2 at one field line coordinate set to Arecibo\textquoterights incoherent scatter radar location (L = 1.43). We report on departures from the traditional picture of corotational motion with the Earth in two ways: (1) the rotational angular speed is found to be 10\% smaller than the rotational angular speed of the Earth, in agreement with previous works on plasmaspheric notches, and (2) the equatorial electric drift displays a dependence in magnetic local time, with a pattern consistent with the mapping of the Arecibo ionosphere dynamo electric fields along equipotential magnetic field lines. The electric fields due to the ionosphere dynamo are therefore expected to play a significant role when discussing, for instance, the structure and dynamics of the plasmasphere or the transport of trapped particles in the inner belt.

Lejosne, Solène; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069875

corotation; electric field; Inner radiation belt; Ionosphere; plasmasphere; Van Allen Probes

The \textquotedblleftzebra stripes\textquotedblright: An effect of F-region zonal plasma drifts on the longitudinal distribution of radiation belt particles

We examine a characteristic effect, namely, the ubiquitous appearance of structured peaks and valleys called zebra stripes in the spectrograms of energetic electrons and ions trapped in the inner belt below L ~ 3. We propose an explanation of this phenomenon as a purely kinematic consequence of particle drift velocity modulation caused by F region zonal plasma drifts in the ionosphere. In other words, we amend the traditional assumption that the electric field associated with ionospheric plasma drives trapped particle distributions into rigid corotation with the Earth. An equation based on a simple first-order model is set up to determine quantitatively the appearance of zebra stripes as a function of magnetic time. Our numerical predictions are in agreement with measurements by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment detector onboard Van Allen Probes, namely: (1) the central energy of any peak identified in the spectrum on the dayside is the central energy of a spectral valley on the night side, and vice versa; (2) there is also an approximate peak-to-valley inversion when comparing the spectrum of trapped electrons with that of trapped ions in the same place; and (3) the actual energy separation between two consecutive peaks (or number of stripes) in the spectrogram of a trapped population is an indicator of the time spent by the particles drifting under quiet conditions.

Lejosne, Solène; Roederer, Juan;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021925

electric field; Ionosphere; Inner radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; zebra stripes


A background correction algorithm for Van Allen Probes MagEIS electron flux measurements

We describe an automated computer algorithm designed to remove background contamination from the Van Allen Probes MagEIS electron flux measurements. We provide a detailed description of the algorithm with illustrative examples from on-orbit data. We find two primary sources of background contamination in the MagEIS electron data: inner zone protons and bremsstrahlung X-rays generated by energetic electrons interacting with the spacecraft material. Bremsstrahlung X-rays primarily produce contamination in the lower energy MagEIS electron channels (~30-500 keV) and in regions of geospace where multi-MeV electrons are present. Inner zone protons produce contamination in all MagEIS energy channels at roughly L < 2.5. The background corrected MagEIS electron data produce a more accurate measurement of the electron radiation belts, as most earlier measurements suffer from unquantifiable and uncorrectable contamination in this harsh region of the near-Earth space environment. These background-corrected data will also be useful for spacecraft engineering purposes, providing ground truth for the near-Earth electron environment and informing the next generation of spacecraft design models (e.g., AE9).

Claudepierre, S.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Roeder, J.; Clemmons, J.; Looper, M.; Mazur, J.; Mulligan, T.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Friedel, R.; Henderson, M.; Larsen, B.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021171

Background contamination; Inner radiation belt; outer radiation belt; Particle measurements; Radiation belt; Spacecraft engineering; Van Allen Probes

Van Allen Probes show the inner radiation zone contains no MeV electrons: ECT/MagEIS data

We present Van Allen Probe observations of electrons in the inner radiation zone. The measurements were made by the ECT/MagEIS sensors that were designed to measure electrons with the ability to remove unwanted signals from penetrating protons, providing clean measurements. No electrons >900 keV were observed with equatorial fluxes above background (i.e. >0.1 electrons/(cm2 s sr keV)) in the inner zone. The observed fluxes are compared to the AE9 model and CRRES observations. Electron fluxes <200 keV exceeded the AE9 model 50\% fluxes and were lower than the higher energy model fluxes. Phase space density radial profiles for 1.3<=L*<2.5 had mostly positive gradients except near L*~2.1 where the profiles for μ = 20-30 MeV/G were flat or slightly peaked. The major result is that MagEIS data do not show the presence of significant fluxes of MeV electrons in the inner zone while current radiation belt models and previous publications do.

Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Blake, J.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Clemmons, J.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062874

inner magnetosphere; Inner radiation belt; Inner zone; trapped electrons; Van Allen Probes


Characteristics of pitch angle distributions of 100 s keV electrons in the slot region and inner radiation belt

The pitch angle distribution (PAD) of energetic electrons in the slot region and inner radiation belt received little attention in the past decades due to the lack of quality measurements. Using the state-of-art pitch-angle-resolved data from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) instrument onboard the Van Allen Probes, a detailed analysis of 100 s keV electron PADs below L = 4 is performed, in which the PADs is categorized into three types: normal (flux peaking at 90o), cap (exceedingly peaking narrowly around 90o) and 90o-minimum (lower flux at 90o) PADs. By examining the characteristics of the PADs of ~460 keV electrons for over a year, we find that the 90o-minimum PADs are generally present in the inner belt (L < 2), while normal PADs dominate at .L ~3.5 - 4. In the region between, 90o-minimum PADs dominate during injection times and normal PADs dominate during quiet times. Cap PADs appear mostly at the decay phase of storms in the slot region and are likely caused by the pitch angle scattering of hiss waves. Fitting the normal PADs into sinnα form, the parameter n is much higher below L = 3 than that in the outer belt and relatively constant in the inner belt but changes significantly in the slot region (2 < L < 3) during injection times. As for the 90o-minimum PADs, by performing a detailed case study, we find in the slot region this type of PAD is likely caused by chorus wave heating, butthis mechanism can hardly explain the formation of 90o-minimum PADs at the center of inner belt.

Zhao, H.; Li, X.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Malaspina, D.;

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

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020386

energetic electrons; Inner radiation belt; Pitch angle distribution; plasmasphere; Slot region; Van Allen Probes; Wave-particle interaction

Inner belt and slot region electron lifetimes and energization rates based on AKEBONO statistics of whistler waves

Global statistics of the amplitude distributions of hiss, lightning-generated, and other whistler mode waves from terrestrial VLF transmitters have been obtained from the EXOS-D (Akebono) satellite in the Earth\textquoterights plasmasphere and fitted as functions of L and latitude for two geomagnetic activity ranges (Kp<3 and Kp>3). In particular, the present study focuses on the inner zone L∈[1.4,2] where reliable in situ measurements were lacking. Such statistics are critically needed for an accurate assessment of the role and relative dominance of each type of wave in the dynamics of the inner radiation belt. While VLF waves seem to propagate mainly in a ducted mode at L\~1.5\textendash3 for Kp<3, they appear to be substantially unducted during more disturbed periods (Kp>3). Hiss waves are generally the most intense in the inner belt, and lightning-generated and hiss wave intensities increase with geomagnetic activity. Lightning-generated wave amplitudes generally peak within 10\textdegree of the equator in the region L<2 where magnetosonic wave amplitudes are weak for Kp<3. Based on this statistics, simplified models of each wave type are presented. Quasi-linear pitch angle and energy diffusion rates of electrons by the full wave model are then calculated. Corresponding electron lifetimes compare well with decay rates of trapped energetic electrons obtained from Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer and other satellites at L∈[1.4,2].

Agapitov, O.; Artemyev, A.; Mourenas, D.; Kasahara, Y.; Krasnoselskikh, V.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.410.1002/2014JA019886

Inner radiation belt; Van Allen Probes; Wave-particle interaction