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Found 92 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 51 through 92


The evolution of ring current ion energy density and energy content during geomagnetic storms based on Van Allen Probes measurements

Enabled by the comprehensive measurements from the MagEIS, HOPE, and RBSPICE instruments onboard Van Allen Probes in the heart of the radiation belt, the relative contributions of ions with different energies and species to the ring current energy density and their dependence on the phases of geomagnetic storms are quantified. The results show that lower energy (<50 keV) protons enhance much more often and also decay much faster than higher energy protons. During the storm main phase, ions with energies < 50 keV contribute more significantly to the ring current than those with higher energies; while the higher energy protons dominate during the recovery phase and quiet times. The enhancements of higher energy proton fluxes as well as energy content generally occur later than those of lower energy protons, which could be due to the inward radial diffusion. For the March 29, 2013 storm we investigated in detail, the contribution from O+ is ~25\% of the ring current energy content during the main phase, and the majority of that comes from < 50 keV O+. This indicates that even during moderate geomagnetic storms the ionosphere is still an important contributor to the ring current ions. Using the Dessler-Parker-Sckopke relation, the contributions of ring current particles to the magnetic field depression during this geomagnetic storm are also calculated. The results show that the measured ring current ions contribute about half of the Dst depression.

Zhao, H.; Li, X.; Baker, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Larsen, B.; Skoug, R.; Funsten, H.; Friedel, R.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Mitchell, D.; Lanzerotti, L.; Rodriguez, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 08/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021533

Geomagnetic storms; Ring current energy content; Ring current ions; The DPS relation; The Dst index; Van Allen Probes

Near-Earth Injection of MeV Electrons associated with Intense Dipolarization Electric Fields: Van Allen Probes observations

Substorms generally inject 10s-100s keV electrons, but intense substorm electric fields have been shown to inject MeV electrons as well. An intriguing question is whether such MeV electron injections can populate the outer radiation belt. Here we present observations of a substorm injection of MeV electrons into the inner magnetosphere. In the pre-midnight sector at L\~5.5, Van Allen Probes (RBSP)-A observed a large dipolarization electric field (50mV/m) over \~40s and a dispersionless injection of electrons up to \~3 MeV. Pitch angle observations indicated betatron acceleration of MeV electrons at the dipolarization front. Corresponding signals of MeV electron injection were observed at LANL-GEO, THEMIS-D, and GOES at geosynchronous altitude. Through a series of dipolarizations, the injections increased the MeV electron phase space density by one order of magnitude in less than 3 hours in the outer radiation belt (L>4.8). Our observations provide evidence that deep injections can supply significant MeV electrons.

Dai, Lei; Wang, Chi; Duan, Suping; He, Zhaohai; Wygant, John; Cattell, Cynthia; Tao, Xin; Su, Zhenpeng; Kletzing, Craig; Baker, Daniel; Li, Xinlin; Malaspina, David; Blake, Bernard; Fennell, Joseph; Claudepierre, Seth; Turner, Drew; Reeves, Geoffrey; Funsten, Herbert; Spence, Harlan; Angelopoulos, Vassilis; Fruehauff, Dennis; Chen, Lunjin; Thaller, Scott; Breneman, Aaron; Tang, Xiangwei;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064955

electric fields; radiation belt electrons; substorm dipolarization; substorm injection; Van Allen Probes

Source and Seed Populations for Relativistic Electrons: Their Roles in Radiation Belt Changes

Strong enhancements of outer Van Allen belt electrons have been shown to have a clear dependence on solar wind speed and on the duration of southward interplanetary magnetic field. However, individual case study analyses also have demonstrated that many geomagnetic storms produce little in the way of outer belt enhancements and, in fact, may produce substantial losses of relativistic electrons. In this study, focused upon a key period in August-September 2014, we use GOES geostationary orbit electron flux data and Van Allen Probes particle and fields data to study the process of radiation belt electron acceleration. One particular interval, 13-22 September, initiated by a short-lived geomagnetic storm and characterized by a long period of primarily northward IMF, showed strong depletion of relativistic electrons (including an unprecedented observation of long-lasting depletion at geostationary orbit) while an immediately preceding, and another immediately subsequent, storm showed strong radiation belt enhancement. We demonstrate with these data that two distinct electron populations resulting from magnetospheric substorm activity are crucial elements in the ultimate acceleration of highly relativistic electrons in the outer belt: the source population (tens of keV) that give rise to VLF wave growth; and the seed population (hundreds of keV) that are, in turn, accelerated through VLF wave interactions to much higher energies. ULF waves may also play a role by either inhibiting or enhancing this process through radial diffusion effects. If any components of the inner magnetospheric accelerator happen to be absent, the relativistic radiation belt enhancement fails to materialize.

Jaynes, A.N.; Baker, D.N.; Singer, H.J.; Rodriguez, J.V.; Loto\textquoterightaniu, T.M.; Ali, A.; Elkington, S.R.; Li, X.; Kanekal, S.G.; Fennell, J.F.; Li, W.; Thorne, R.M.; Kletzing, C.A.; Spence, H.E.; Reeves, G.D.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 07/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021234

Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; substorms; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes; VLF waves

The effects of geomagnetic storms on electrons in Earth\textquoterights radiation belts

We use Van Allen Probes data to investigate the responses of 10s of keV to 2 MeV electrons throughout a broad range of the radiation belts (2.5 <= L <= 6.0) during 52 geomagnetic storms from the most recent solar maximum. Electron storm-time responses are highly dependent on both electron energy and L-shell. 10s of keV electrons typically have peak fluxes in the inner belt or near-Earth plasma sheet and fill the inner magnetosphere during storm main phases. ~100 to ~600 keV electrons are enhanced in up to 87\% of cases around L~3.7, and their peak flux location moves to lower L-shells during storm recovery phases. Relativistic electrons (>=~1 MeV) are nearly equally likely to produce enhancement, depletion, and no-change events in the outer belt. We also show that the L-shell of peak flux correlates to storm magnitude only for 100s of keV electrons.

Turner, D.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Blake, J.; Kilpua, E.; Hietala, H.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 07/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064747

electrons; Van Allen Probes; Geomagnetic storms; Radiation belts

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 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 investigation of the large scale duskward electric field and its role in ring current formation and plasmasphere erosion in the June 1, 2013 storm

Using the Van Allen Probes we investigate the enhancement in the large scale duskward convection electric field during the geomagnetic storm (Dst ~ -120 nT) on June 1, 2013 and its role in ring current ion transport and energization, and plasmasphere erosion. During this storm, enhancements of ~1-2 mV/m in the duskward electric field in the co-rotating frame are observed down to L shells as low as ~2.3. A simple model consisting of a dipole magnetic field and constant, azimuthally westward, electric field is used to calculate the earthward and westward drift of 90\textdegree pitch angle ions. This model is applied to determine how far earthward ions can drift while remaining on Earth\textquoterights night side, given the strength and duration of the convection electric field. The calculation based on this simple model indicates that the enhanced duskward electric field is of sufficient intensity and duration to transport ions from a range of initial locations and initial energies characteristic of (though not observed by the Van Allen Probes) the earthward edge of the plasma sheet during active times ( L ~ 6\textendash10 and ~1-20 keV) to the observed location of the 58\textendash267 keV ion population, chosen as representative of the ring current (L ~3.5 \textendash 5.8). According to the model calculation, this transportation should be concurrent with an energization to the range observed, ~58-267 keV. Clear coincidence between the electric field enhancement and both plasmasphere erosion and ring current ion (58\textendash267 keV) pressure enhancements are presented. We show for the first time, nearly simultaneous enhancements in the duskward convection electric field, plasmasphere erosion, and increased pressure of 58\textendash267 keV ring current ions. These 58\textendash267 keV ions have energies that are consistent with what they are expected to pick up by gradient B drifting across the electric field. These observations strongly suggest that we are observing the electric field that energizes the ions and produces the erosion of the plasmasphere.

Thaller, S.; Wygant, J.; Dai, L.; Breneman, A.W.; Kersten, K.; Cattell, C.A.; Bonnell, J.W.; Fennell, J.F.; Gkioulidou, Matina; Kletzing, C.A.; De Pascuale, S.; Hospodarsky, G.B.; Bounds, S.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020875

electric field; inner magnetosphere; plasma convection; plasmasphere; ring current; Van Allen Probes

Analysis of plasmaspheric hiss wave amplitudes inferred from low-altitude POES electron data: Technique sensitivity analysis

A novel technique capable of inferring wave amplitudes from low-altitude electron measurements from the POES spacecraft has been previously proposed to construct a global dynamic model of chorus and plasmaspheric hiss waves. In this paper we focus on plasmaspheric hiss, which is an incoherent broadband emission that plays a dominant role in the loss of energetic electrons from the inner magnetosphere. We analyze the sensitivity of the POES technique to different inputs used to infer the hiss wave amplitudes during three conjunction events with the Van Allen Probes. These amplitudes are calculated with different input models of the plasma density, wave frequency spectrum, and electron energy spectrum, and the results are compared to the wave observations from the twin Van Allen Probes. Only one parameter is varied at a time in order to isolate its effect on the output, while the two other inputs are set to the values observed by the Van Allen Probes. The results show that the predicted hiss amplitudes are most sensitive to the adopted frequency spectrum, followed by the plasma density, but they are not very sensitive to the electron energy spectrum. Moreover, the standard Gaussian representation of the wave frequency spectrum (centered at 550 Hz) peaks at frequencies that are much higher than those observed in individual cases as well as in statistical wave distributions, which produces large overestimates of the hiss wave amplitude. For this reason, a realistic statistical model of the wave frequency spectrum should be used in the POES technique to infer the plasmaspheric hiss wave intensity rather than a standard Gaussian distribution, since the former better reproduces the observed plasmaspheric hiss wave amplitudes.

de Soria-Santacruz, M.; Li, W.; Thorne, R.; Ma, Q.; Bortnik, J.; Ni, B.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.D.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 04/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020941

Plasmaspheric Hiss; POES technique; Van Allen Probes; Waves global model

Global Storm-Time Depletion of the Outer Electron Belt

The outer radiation belt consists of relativistic (>0.5 MeV) electrons trapped on closed trajectories around Earth where the magnetic field is nearly dipolar. During increased geomagnetic activity, electron intensities in the belt can vary by ordersof magnitude at different spatial and temporal scale. The main phase of geomagnetic storms often produces deep depletions of electron intensities over broad regions of the outer belt. Previous studies identified three possible processes that can contribute to the main-phase depletions: adiabatic inflation of electron drift orbits caused by the ring current growth, electron loss into the atmosphere, and electron escape through the magnetopause boundary. In this paper we investigate the relative importance of the adiabatic effect and magnetopause loss to the rapid depletion of the outer belt observed at the Van Allen Probes spacecraft during the main phase of March 17, 2013 storm. The intensities of >1 MeV electrons were depleted by more than an order of magnitude over the entire radial extent of the belt in less than 6 hours after the sudden storm commencement. For the analysis we used three-dimensional test-particle simulations of global evolution of the outer belt in the Tsyganenko-Sitnov (TS07D) magnetic field model with an inductive electric field. Comparison of the simulation results with electron measurements from the MagEIS experiment shows that magnetopause loss accounts for most of the observed depletion at L>5, while at lower L shells the depletion is adiabatic. Both magnetopause loss and the adiabatic effect are controlled by the change in global configuration of the magnetic field due to storm-time development of the ring current; a simulation of electron evolution without a ring current produces a much weaker depletion.

Ukhorskiy, A; Sitnov, M.; Millan, R.; Kress, B.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Barnes, R.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020645

dropout; Geomagnetic storms; magnetopause loss; Radial Transport; Radiation belt; ring current; 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

Modeling inward diffusion and slow decay of energetic electrons in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt

A new 3D diffusion code is used to investigate the inward intrusion and slow decay of energetic radiation belt electrons (>0.5 MeV) observed by the Van Allen Probes during a 10-day quiet period in March 2013. During the inward transport the peak differential electron fluxes decreased by approximately an order of magnitude at various energies. Our 3D radiation belt simulation including radial diffusion and pitch angle and energy diffusion by plasmaspheric hiss and Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves reproduces the essential features of the observed electron flux evolution. The decay timescales and the pitch angle distributions in our simulation are consistent with the Van Allen Probes observations over multiple energy channels. Our study suggests that the quiet-time energetic electron dynamics are effectively controlled by inward radial diffusion and pitch angle scattering due to a combination of plasmaspheric hiss and EMIC waves in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts.

Ma, Q.; Li, W.; Thorne, R.; Ni, B.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Reeves, G.; Henderson, M.; Spence, H.; Baker, D.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Angelopoulos, V.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062977

pitch angle scattering; radiation belts modeling; Van Allen Probes; Van Allen Probes observations

On the use of drift echoes to characterize on-orbit sensor discrepancies

We describe a method for using drift echo signatures in on-orbit data to resolve discrepancies between different measurements of particle flux. The drift period has a well-defined energy dependence, which gives rise to time dispersion of the echoes. The dispersion can then be used to determine the effective energy for one or more channels given each channel\textquoterights drift period and the known energy for a reference channel. We demonstrate this technique on multiple instruments from the Van Allen probes mission. Drift echoes are only easily observed at high energies (100s keV to multiple MeV), where several drift periods occur before the observing satellite has moved on or the global magnetic conditions have changed. We describe a first-order correction for spacecraft motion. The drift echo technique has provided a significant clue in resolving substantial flux discrepancies between two instruments measuring fluxes near 2 MeV.

O\textquoterightBrien, T.P.; Claudepierre, S.G.; Looper, M.D.; Blake, J.B.; Fennell, J.F.; Clemmons, J.H.; Roeder, J.L.; Kanekal, S.G.; Manweiler, J.W.; Mitchell, D.G.; Gkioulidou, M.; Lanzerotti, L.J.; Spence, H.E.; Reeves, G.D.; Baker, D.N.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020859

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

Energetic electron injections deep into the inner magnetosphere associated with substorm activity

From a survey of the first nightside season of NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes mission (Dec/2012 \textendash Sep/2013), 47 energetic (10s to 100s of keV) electron injection events were found at L-shells <= 4, all of which are deeper than any previously reported substorm-related injections. Preliminary details from these events are presented, including how: all occurred shortly after dipolarization signatures and injections were observed at higher L-shells; the deepest observed injection was at L~2.5; and, surprisingly, L<=4 injections are limited in energy to <=250 keV. We present a detailed case study of one example event revealing that the injection of electrons down to L~3.5 was different from injections observed at higher L and likely resulted from drift resonance with a fast magnetosonic wave in the Pi 2 frequency range inside the plasmasphere. These observations demonstrate that injections occur at very low L-shells and may play an important role for inner zone electrons.

Turner, D.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Blake, J.; Lemon, C.; Gkioulidou, M.; Takahashi, K.; Reeves, G.; Thaller, S.; Breneman, A.; Wygant, J.; Li, W.; Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.;

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

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063225

energetic particle injections; inner magnetosphere; Radiation belts; substorms; THEMIS; Van Allen Probes

Upper limit on the inner radiation belt MeV electron Intensity

No instruments in the inner radiation belt are immune from the unforgiving penetration of the highly energetic protons (10s of MeV to GeV). The inner belt proton flux level, however, is relatively stable, thus for any given instrument, the proton contamination often leads to a certain background noise. Measurements from the Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope integrated little experiment (REPTile) on board Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) CubeSat, in a low Earth orbit, clearly demonstrate that there exist sub-MeV electrons in the inner belt because of their flux level is orders of magnitude higher than the background, while higher energy electron (>1.6 MeV) measurements cannot be distinguished from the background. Detailed analysis of high-quality measurements from the Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope (REPT) on board Van Allen Probes, in a geo-transfer-like orbit, provides, for the first time, quantified upper limits on MeV electron fluxes in various energy ranges in the inner belt. These upper limits are rather different from flux levels in the AE8 and AE9 models, which were developed based on older data sources. For 1.7, 2.5, and 3.3 MeV electrons, the upper limits are about one order of magnitude lower than predicted model fluxes. The implication of this difference is profound in that unless there are extreme solar wind conditions, which have not happened yet since the launch of Van Allen Probes, significant enhancements of MeV electrons do not occur in the inner belt even though such enhancements are commonly seen in the outer belt.

Li, X.; Selesnick, R.; Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Kanekal, S.; Schiller, Q.; Blum, L.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020777

Van Allen Probes


Investigation of EMIC wave scattering as the cause for the BARREL January 17, 2013 relativistic electron precipitation event: a quantitative comparison of simulation with observations

Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves were observed at multiple observatory locations for several hours on 17 January 2013. During the wave activity period, a duskside relativistic electron precipitation (REP) event was observed by one of the BARREL balloons, and was magnetically mapped close to GOES-13. We simulate the relativistic electron pitch-angle diffusion caused by gyroresonant interactions with EMIC waves using wave and particle data measured by multiple instruments on board GOES-13 and the Van Allen Probes. We show that the count rate, the energy distribution and the time variation of the simulated precipitation all agree very well with the balloon observations, suggesting that EMIC wave scattering was likely the cause for the precipitation event. The event reported here is the first balloon REP event with closely conjugate EMIC wave observations, and our study employs the most detailed quantitative analysis on the link of EMIC waves with observed REP to date.

Li, Zan; Millan, Robyn; Hudson, Mary; Woodger, Leslie; Smith, David; Chen, Yue; Friedel, Reiner; Rodriguez, Juan; Engebretson, Mark; Goldstein, Jerry; Fennell, Joseph; Spence, Harlan;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 12/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062273

BARREL; EMIC waves; GOES; pitch angle diffusion; RBSP; relativistic electron precipitation; 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

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

On long decays of electrons in the vicinity of the slot region observed by HEO3

Long decay periods of electron counts, which follow abrupt rises and last from weeks to months, have been observed by the HEO3 spacecraft in the vicinity of the slot region between the years 1998 and 2007. During the most stable decay periods as selected, e-folding timescales are extracted and statistically analyzed from observations as a function of L-shell and electron energy. A challenge is to reproduce the observed timescales from simulations of pitch angle diffusion by three acting waves\textendashthe plasmaspheric hiss, lightning-generated whistlers, and VLF transmitter waves. We perform full numerical simulations to accurately compute electron lifetimes. We choose to use the method and wave parameters proposed by Abel \& Thorne [1998] with the goal to assess whether they can reproduce lifetimes extracted from HEO observations. We show how hiss dominantly affect high energy electrons (E > 2 MeV) for L in [2, 3.5] and VLF transmitter waves control residency times of low energy electrons (<0.4 MeV) around L = 2. These interactions induce characteristic shapes of the lifetime profiles that will be discussed. We show how the wave amplitudes can be adjusted for the particular energy particles that are dominantly affected by one wave type only. Using these amplitudes, mean HEO lifetimes are reproduced within a factor 2 to 5. VLF occurrence rates and hiss amplitude turn out significantly higher than those proposed by Abel \& Thorne [1998]. The wide energy response of the sensors complicates the analysis because it blurs the electron lifetime dependence on energy, increases the overall lifetimes and reduces the differences between the different channel lifetimes. In particular, our simulations suggest the flux measured by an integrated energy sensor aboard HEO has a variable slope, i.e. a variable lifetime, during 10-20 days in our data, due to the faster decay of the low residency time particles while slower decaying particles control the steady decay. It can explain some of the multi-slopes decays observed by HEO. HEO electron long decay timescales are also compared to the timescales previously observed from SAMPEX and CRRES with differences attributed to factors such as instrument characteristic and different satellite orbits.

Ripoll, J.-F.; Chen, Y.; Fennell, J.; Friedel, R.;

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

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020449

electron; HEO; Slot region

Acceleration and loss driven by VLF chorus: Van Allen Probes observations and DREAM model results

For over a decade now we have understood the response of the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts to solar wind driving are a delicate balance of acceleration and loss processes. Theory has shown that the interaction of relativistic electrons with VLF whistler mode chorus can produce both energization through momentum diffusion and loss through pitch angle diffusion. Recent results from the Van Allen Probes mission has confirmed observationally that chorus can produce both acceleration and loss. The Van Allen Probes satellites are able to measure all the critical particle populations and wave fields with unprecedented precision and resolution but only at the two spacecraft locations. Those spatially-localized observations can be extended globally using three-dimensional diffusion codes such as the DREAM model. We will discuss some of the recent Van Allen Probes observations that firmly demonstrate local acceleration by chorus and losses due to chorus-produced pitch angle scattering (as well as outward radial diffusion). We will look at observational evidence for the complex chain of processes that inject a \textquotedblleftseed population\textquotedblright, generate chorus, and ultimately drive radiation belt acceleration and loss. We will also discuss how local satellite observations can be generalized to simulate global dynamics using data-driven input and boundary conditions. RW1/J/IEIE0175/0001

Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Henderson, M.; Tu, W.; Cunningham, G.; Chen, Y.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Baker, D.;

Published by:       Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929879

Van Allen Probes

Generation of Unusually Low Frequency Plasmaspheric Hiss

It has been reported from Van Allen Probe observations that plasmaspheric hiss intensification in the outer plasmasphere, associated with a substorm injection on Sept 30 2012, occurred with a peak frequency near 100 Hz, well below the typical plasmaspheric hiss frequency range, extending down to ~20 Hz. We examine this event of unusually low frequency plasmaspheric hiss to understand its generation mechanism. Quantitative analysis is performed by simulating wave ray paths via the HOTRAY ray tracing code with measured plasma density and calculating ray path-integrated wave gain evaluated using the measured energetic electron distribution. We demonstrate that the growth rate due to substorm injected electrons is positive but rather weak, leading to small wave gain (~10 dB) during a single equatorial crossing. Propagation characteristics aided by the sharp density gradient associated with the plasmapause, however, can enable these low frequency waves to undergo cyclic ray paths, which return to the unstable region leading to repeated amplification to yield sufficient net wave gain (>40 dB) to allow waves to grow from the thermal noise.

Chen, Lunjin; Thorne, Richard; Bortnik, Jacob; Li, Wen; Horne, Richard; Reeves, G.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Spence, H.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060628

Chorus; Generation; Plasmaspheric Hiss; Ray Tracing; Van Allen Probes

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation and the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation is one of 5 fields-and-particles investigations on the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. MMS comprises 4 spacecraft flying in close formation in highly elliptical, near-Earth-equatorial orbits targeting understanding of the fundamental physics of the important physical process called magnetic reconnection using Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere as a plasma laboratory. EPD comprises two sensor types, the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) with one instrument on each of the 4 spacecraft, and the Fly\textquoterights Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) with 2 instruments on each of the 4 spacecraft. EIS measures energetic ion energy, angle and elemental compositional distributions from a required low energy limit of 20 keV for protons and 45 keV for oxygen ions, up to >0.5 MeV (with capabilities to measure up to >1 MeV). FEEPS measures instantaneous all sky images of energetic electrons from 25 keV to >0.5 MeV, and also measures total ion energy distributions from 45 keV to >0.5 MeV to be used in conjunction with EIS to measure all sky ion distributions. In this report we describe the EPD investigation and the details of the EIS sensor. Specifically we describe EPD-level science objectives, the science and measurement requirements, and the challenges that the EPD team had in meeting these requirements. Here we also describe the design and operation of the EIS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the EIS in-flight and ground operations. Blake et al. (The Flys Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) contribution to the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) investigation of the Magnetospheric Magnetoscale (MMS) Mission, this issue) describe the design and operation of the FEEPS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the FEEPS in-flight and ground operations. The MMS spacecraft will launch in early 2015, and over its 2-year mission will provide comprehensive measurements of magnetic reconnection at Earth\textquoterights magnetopause during the 18 months that comprise orbital phase 1, and magnetic reconnection within Earth\textquoterights magnetotail during the about 6 months that comprise orbital phase 2.

Mauk, B.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.; Clemmons, J.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Jaskulek, S.; Schlemm, C.; Brown, L.; Cooper, S.; Craft, J.; Fennell, J.; Gurnee, R.; Hammock, C.; Hayes, J.; Hill, P.; Ho, G.; Hutcheson, J.; Jacques, A.; Kerem, S.; Mitchell, D.; Nelson, K.; Paschalidis, N.; Rossano, E.; Stokes, M.; Westlake, J.;

Published by: Space Science Reviews      Published on: 06/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0055-5

Magnetic reconnection; Magnetosphere; Magnetospheric multiscale; NASA mission; Particle acceleration; Space plasma

Radiation belt electron acceleration by chorus waves during the 17 March 2013 storm

Local acceleration driven by whistler-mode chorus waves is fundamentally important for accelerating seed electron populations to highly relativistic energies in the outer radiation belt. In this study, we quantitatively evaluate chorus-driven electron acceleration during the 17 March 2013 storm, when the Van Allen Probes observed very rapid electron acceleration up to several MeV within ~12 hours. A clear radial peak in electron phase space density (PSD) observed near L* ~4 indicates that an internal local acceleration process was operating. We construct the global distribution of chorus wave intensity from the low-altitude electron measurements made by multiple Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) satellites over a broad region, which is ultimately used to simulate the radiation belt electron dynamics driven by chorus waves. Our simulation results show remarkable agreement in magnitude, timing, energy dependence, and pitch angle distribution with the observed electron PSD near its peak location. However, radial diffusion and other loss processes may be required to explain the differences between the observation and simulation at other locations away from the PSD peak. Our simulation results, together with previous studies, suggest that local acceleration by chorus waves is a robust and ubiquitous process and plays a critical role in accelerating injected seed electrons with convective energies (~100 keV) to highly relativistic energies (several MeV).

Li, W.; Thorne, R.; Ma, Q.; Ni, B.; Bortnik, J.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Kanekal, S.; Green, J.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 06/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/jgra.v119.610.1002/2014JA019945

Van Allen Probes

Peculiar pitch angle distribution of relativistic electrons in the inner radiation belt and slot region

The relativistic electrons in the inner radiation belt have received little attention in the past due to sparse measurements and unforgiving contamination from the inner belt protons. The high-quality measurements of the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer instrument onboard Van Allen Probes provide a great opportunity to investigate the dynamics of relativistic electrons in the low L region. In this letter, we report the newly unveiled pitch angle distribution (PAD) of the energetic electrons with minima at 90\textdegree near the magnetic equator in the inner belt and slot region. Such a PAD is persistently present throughout the inner belt and appears in the slot region during storms. One hypothesis for 90\textdegree minimum PADs is that off 90\textdegree electrons are preferentially heated by chorus waves just outside the plasmapause (which can be at very low L during storms) and/or fast magnetosonic waves which exist both inside and outside the plasmasphere.

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

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059725

Van Allen Probes

Quantifying the radiation belt seed population in the 17 March 2013 electron acceleration event

We present phase space density (PSD) observations using data from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer instrument on the Van Allen Probes for the 17 March 2013 electron acceleration event. We confirm previous results and quantify how PSD gradients depend on the first adiabatic invariant. We find a systematic difference between the lower-energy electrons (1 MeV with a source region within the radiation belts. Our observations show that the source process begins with enhancements to the 10s\textendash100s keV energy seed population, followed by enhancements to the >1 MeV population and eventually leading to enhancements in the multi-MeV electron population. These observations provide the clearest evidence to date of the timing and nature of the radial transport of a 100s keV electron seed population into the heart of the outer belt and subsequent local acceleration of those electrons to higher radiation belt energies.

Boyd, A.; Spence, H.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Turner, D.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059626

Van Allen Probes

Simulations of inner magnetosphere dynamics with an expanded RAM-SCB model and comparisons with Van Allen Probes observations

Simulations from our newly expanded ring current-atmosphere interactions model with self-consistent magnetic field (RAM-SCB), now valid out to 9 RE, are compared for the first time with Van Allen Probes observations. The expanded model reproduces the storm time ring current buildup due to the increased convection and inflow of plasma from the magnetotail. It matches Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) observations of the trapped high-energy (>50 keV) ion flux; however, it underestimates the low-energy (<10 keV) Helium, Oxygen, Proton, and Electron (HOPE) observations. The dispersed injections of ring current ions observed with the Energetic particle, Composition, and Thermal plasma (ECT) suite at high (>20 keV) energy are better reproduced using a high-resolution convection model. In agreement with Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) observations, RAM-SCB indicates that the large-scale magnetic field is depressed as close as \~4.5 RE during even a moderate storm. Regions of electromagnetic ion cyclotron instability are predicted on the duskside from \~6 to \~9 RE, indicating that previous studies confined to geosynchronous orbit may have underestimated their scattering effect on the energetic particles.

Jordanova, V.; Yu, Y.; Niehof, J.; Skoug, R.; Reeves, G.; Kletzing, C.; Fennell, J.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 04/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059533

Van Allen Probes

Van Allen Probes observations of direct wave-particle interactions

Quasiperiodic increases, or \textquotedblleftbursts,\textquotedblright of 17\textendash26 keV electron fluxes in conjunction with chorus wave bursts were observed following a plasma injection on 13 January 2013. The pitch angle distributions changed during the burst events, evolving from sinN(α) to distributions that formed maxima at α = 75\textendash80\textdegree, while fluxes at 90\textdegree and <60\textdegree remained nearly unchanged. The observations occurred outside of the plasmasphere in the postmidnight region and were observed by both Van Allen Probes. Density, cyclotron frequency, and pitch angle of the peak flux were used to estimate resonant electron energy. The result of ~15\textendash35 keV is consistent with the energies of the electrons showing the flux enhancements and corresponds to electrons in and above the steep flux gradient that signals the presence of an Alfv\ en boundary in the plasma. The cause of the quasiperiodic nature (on the order of a few minutes) of the bursts is not understood at this time.

Fennell, J.; Roeder, J.; Kurth, W.; Henderson, M.; Larsen, B.; Hospodarsky, G.; Wygant, J.; Claudepierre, J.; Blake, J.; Spence, H.; Clemmons, J.; Funsten, H.; Kletzing, C.; Reeves, G.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059165

Van Allen Probes

Gradual diffusion and punctuated phase space density enhancements of highly relativistic electrons: Van Allen Probes observations

The dual-spacecraft Van Allen Probes mission has provided a new window into mega electron volt (MeV) particle dynamics in the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. Observations (up to E ~10 MeV) show clearly the behavior of the outer electron radiation belt at different timescales: months-long periods of gradual inward radial diffusive transport and weak loss being punctuated by dramatic flux changes driven by strong solar wind transient events. We present analysis of multi-MeV electron flux and phase space density (PSD) changes during March 2013 in the context of the first year of Van Allen Probes operation. This March period demonstrates the classic signatures both of inward radial diffusive energization and abrupt localized acceleration deep within the outer Van Allen zone (L ~4.0 \textpm 0.5). This reveals graphically that both \textquotedblleftcompeting\textquotedblright mechanisms of multi-MeV electron energization are at play in the radiation belts, often acting almost concurrently or at least in rapid succession.

Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Li, X.; Henderson, M.; Kanekal, S.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; Hudson, M.; Thorne, R.; Foster, J.; Erickson, P.; Malaspina, D.; Wygant, J.; Boyd, A.; Kletzing, C.; Drozdov, A.; Shprits, Y;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058942

Van Allen Probes

Resonant scattering of energetic electrons by unusual low-frequency hiss

We quantify the resonant scattering effects of the unusual low-frequency dawnside plasmaspheric hiss observed on 30 September 2012 by the Van Allen Probes. In contrast to normal (~100\textendash2000 Hz) hiss emissions, this unusual hiss event contained most of its wave power at ~20\textendash200 Hz. Compared to the scattering by normal hiss, the unusual hiss scattering speeds up the loss of ~50\textendash200 keV electrons and produces more pronounced pancake distributions of ~50\textendash100 keV electrons. It is demonstrated that such unusual low-frequency hiss, even with a duration of a couple of hours, plays a particularly important role in the decay and loss process of energetic electrons, resulting in shorter electron lifetimes for ~50\textendash400 keV electrons than normal hiss, and should be carefully incorporated into global modeling of radiation belt electron dynamics during periods of intense injections.

Ni, Binbin; Li, Wen; Thorne, Richard; Bortnik, Jacob; Ma, Qianli; Chen, Lunjin; Kletzing, Craig; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Reeves, Geoffrey; Spence, Harlan; Blake, Bernard; Fennell, Joseph; Claudepierre, Seth;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059389

Van Allen Probes

Quantifying hiss-driven energetic electron precipitation: A detailed conjunction event analysis

We analyze a conjunction event between the Van Allen Probes and the low-altitude Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES) to quantify hiss-driven energetic electron precipitation. A physics-based technique based on quasi-linear diffusion theory is used to estimate the ratio of precipitated and trapped electron fluxes (R), which could be measured by the two-directional POES particle detectors, using wave and plasma parameters observed by the Van Allen Probes. The remarkable agreement between modeling and observations suggests that this technique is applicable for quantifying hiss-driven electron scattering near the bounce loss cone. More importantly, R in the 100\textendash300 keV energy channel measured by multiple POES satellites over a broad L magnetic local time region can potentially provide the spatiotemporal evolution of global hiss wave intensity, which is essential in evaluating radiation belt electron dynamics, but cannot be obtained by in situ equatorial satellites alone.

Li, W.; Ni, B.; Thorne, R.; Bortnik, J.; Nishimura, Y.; Green, J.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Gu, X.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 02/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL059132

Van Allen Probes

An empirically observed pitch-angle diffusion eigenmode in the Earth\textquoterights electron belt near L * = 5.0

Using data from NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes, we have identified a synchronized exponential decay of electron flux in the outer zone, near L* = 5.0. Exponential decays strongly indicate the presence of a pure eigenmode of a diffusion operator acting in the synchronized dimension(s). The decay has a time scale of about 4 days with no dependence on pitch angle. While flux at nearby energies and L* is also decaying exponentially, the decay time varies in those dimensions. This suggests the primary decay mechanism is elastic pitch angle scattering, which itself depends on energy and L*. We invert the shape of the observed eigenmode to obtain an approximate shape of the pitch angle diffusion coefficient and show excellent agreement with diffusion by plasmaspheric hiss. Our results suggest that empirically derived eigenmodes provide a powerful diagnostic of the dynamic processes behind exponential decays.

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

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 01/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058713

Van Allen Probes


Rapid local acceleration of relativistic radiation-belt electrons by magnetospheric chorus

Recent analysis of satellite data obtained during the 9 October 2012 geomagnetic storm identified the development of peaks in electron phase space density1, which are compelling evidence for local electron acceleration in the heart of the outer radiation belt2, 3, but are inconsistent with acceleration by inward radial diffusive transport4, 5. However, the precise physical mechanism responsible for the acceleration on 9 October was not identified. Previous modelling has indicated that a magnetospheric electromagnetic emission known as chorus could be a potential candidate for local electron acceleration6, 7, 8, 9, 10, but a definitive resolution of the importance of chorus for radiation-belt acceleration was not possible because of limitations in the energy range and resolution of previous electron observations and the lack of a dynamic global wave model. Here we report high-resolution electron observations11 obtained during the 9 October storm and demonstrate, using a two-dimensional simulation performed with a recently developed time-varying data-driven model12, that chorus scattering explains the temporal evolution of both the energy and angular distribution of the observed relativistic electron flux increase. Our detailed modelling demonstrates the remarkable efficiency of wave acceleration in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt, and the results presented have potential application to Jupiter, Saturn and other magnetized astrophysical objects.

Thorne, R.; Li, W.; Ni, B.; Ma, Q.; Bortnik, J.; Chen, L.; Baker, D.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Henderson, M.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Kanekal, S.;

Published by: Nature      Published on: 12/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1038/nature12889

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Discovery of the action of a geophysical synchrotron in the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts

Although the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts were discovered over 50 years ago, the dominant processes responsible for relativistic electron acceleration, transport and loss remain poorly understood. Here we show evidence for the action of coherent acceleration due to resonance with ultra-low frequency waves on a planetary scale. Data from the CRRES probe, and from the recently launched multi-satellite NASA Van Allen Probes mission, with supporting modeling, collectively show coherent ultra-low frequency interactions which high energy resolution data reveals are far more common than either previously thought or observed. The observed modulations and energy-dependent spatial structure indicate a mode of action analogous to a geophysical synchrotron; this new mode of response represents a significant shift in known Van Allen radiation belt dynamics and structure. These periodic collisionless betatron acceleration processes also have applications in understanding the dynamics of, and periodic electromagnetic emissions from, distant plasma-astrophysical systems.

Mann, Ian; Lee, E.; Claudepierre, S.; Fennell, J.; Degeling, A.; Rae, I.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Ozeke, L.; Rankin, R.; Milling, D.; Kale, A.; Friedel, R.; Honary, F.;

Published by: Nature Communications      Published on: 11/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3795

Van Allen Probes

The Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) Instruments Aboard the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Spacecraft

This paper describes the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) instruments aboard the RBSP spacecraft from an instrumentation and engineering point of view. There are four magnetic spectrometers aboard each of the two spacecraft, one low-energy unit (20\textendash240 keV), two medium-energy units (80\textendash1200 keV), and a high-energy unit (800\textendash4800 keV). The high unit also contains a proton telescope (55 keV\textendash20 MeV). The magnetic spectrometers focus electrons within a selected energy pass band upon a focal plane of several silicon detectors where pulse-height analysis is used to determine if the energy of the incident electron is appropriate for the electron momentum selected by the magnet. Thus each event is a two-parameter analysis, an approach leading to a greatly reduced background. The physics of these instruments are described in detail followed by the engineering implementation. The data outputs are described, and examples of the calibration results and early flight data presented.

Blake, J.; Carranza, P.; Claudepierre, S.; Clemmons, J.; Crain, W.; Dotan, Y.; Fennell, J.; Fuentes, F.; Galvan, R.; George, J.; Henderson, M.; Lalic, M.; Lin, A; Looper, M.; Mabry, D.; Mazur, J.; McCarthy, B.; Nguyen, C.; textquoterightBrien, T.; Perez, M.; Redding, M.; Roeder, J.; Salvaggio, D.; Sorensen, G.; Spence, H.; Yi, S.; Zakrzewski, M.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-9991-8

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Science Goals and Overview of the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) Suite on NASA\textquoterights Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Mission

The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP)-Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) suite contains an innovative complement of particle instruments to ensure the highest quality measurements ever made in the inner magnetosphere and radiation belts. The coordinated RBSP-ECT particle measurements, analyzed in combination with fields and waves observations and state-of-the-art theory and modeling, are necessary for understanding the acceleration, global distribution, and variability of radiation belt electrons and ions, key science objectives of NASA\textquoterights Living With a Star program and the Van Allen Probes mission. The RBSP-ECT suite consists of three highly-coordinated instruments: the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS), the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) sensor, and the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT). Collectively they cover, continuously, the full electron and ion spectra from one eV to 10\textquoterights of MeV with sufficient energy resolution, pitch angle coverage and resolution, and with composition measurements in the critical energy range up to 50 keV and also from a few to 50 MeV/nucleon. All three instruments are based on measurement techniques proven in the radiation belts. The instruments use those proven techniques along with innovative new designs, optimized for operation in the most extreme conditions in order to provide unambiguous separation of ions and electrons and clean energy responses even in the presence of extreme penetrating background environments. The design, fabrication and operation of ECT spaceflight instrumentation in the harsh radiation belt environment ensure that particle measurements have the fidelity needed for closure in answering key mission science questions. ECT instrument details are provided in companion papers in this same issue. In this paper, we describe the science objectives of the RBSP-ECT instrument suite on the Van Allen Probe spacecraft within the context of the overall mission objectives, indicate how the characteristics of the instruments satisfy the requirements to achieve these objectives, provide information about science data collection and dissemination, and conclude with a description of some early mission results.

Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Blake, J.; Bolton, M.; Bourdarie, S.; Chan, A.; Claudpierre, S.; Clemmons, J.; Cravens, J.; Elkington, S.; Fennell, J.; Friedel, R.; Funsten, H.; Goldstein, J.; Green, J.; Guthrie, A.; Henderson, M.; Horne, R.; Hudson, M.; Jahn, J.-M.; Jordanova, V.; Kanekal, S.; Klatt, B.; Larsen, B.; Li, X.; MacDonald, E.; Mann, I.R.; Niehof, J.; O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Onsager, T.; Salvaggio, D.; Skoug, R.; Smith, S.; Suther, L.; Thomsen, M.; Thorne, R.;

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

YEAR: 2013     DOI: DOI: 10.1007/s11214-013-0007-5

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

First Results from CSSWE CubeSat: Characteristics of Relativistic Electrons in the Near-Earth Environment During the October 2012 Magnetic Storms

Measurements from the Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope integrated little experiment (REPTile) on board the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) CubeSat mission, which was launched into a highly inclined (65\textdegree) low Earth orbit, are analyzed along with measurements from the Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope (REPT) and the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) instruments aboard the Van Allen Probes, which are in a low inclination (10\textdegree) geo-transfer-like orbit. Both REPT and MagEIS measure the full distribution of energetic electrons as they traverse the heart of the outer radiation belt. However, due to the small equatorial loss cone (only a few degrees), it is difficult for REPT and MagEIS to directly determine which electrons will precipitate into the atmosphere, a major radiation belt loss process. REPTile, a miniaturized version of REPT, measures the fraction of the total electron population that has small enough equatorial pitch angles to reach the altitude of CSSWE, 480 km \texttimes 780 km, thus measuring the precipitating population as well as the trapped and quasi-trapped populations. These newly available measurements provide an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the source, loss, and energization processes that are responsible for the dynamic behavior of outer radiation belt electrons. The focus of this paper will be on the characteristics of relativistic electrons measured by REPTile during the October 2012 storms; also included are long-term measurements from the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer to put this study into context.

Li, X.; Schiller, Q.; Blum, L.; Califf, S.; Zhao, H.; Tu, W.; Turner, D.; Gerhardt, D.; Palo, S.; Kanekal, S.; Baker, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Looper, M.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019342

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Van Allen Probes observation of localized drift-resonance between poloidal mode ultra-low frequency waves and 60 keV electrons

[1] We present NASA Van Allen Probes observations of wave-particle interactions between magnetospheric ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves and energetic electrons (20\textendash500 keV) on 31 October 2012. The ULF waves are identified as the fundamental poloidal mode oscillation and are excited following an interplanetary shock impact on the magnetosphere. Large amplitude modulations in energetic electron flux are observed at the same period (≈ 3 min) as the ULF waves and are consistent with a drift-resonant interaction. The azimuthal mode number of the interacting wave is estimated from the electron measurements to be ~40, based on an assumed symmetric drift resonance. The drift-resonant interaction is observed to be localized and occur over 5\textendash6 wave cycles, demonstrating peak electron flux modulations at energies ~60 keV. Our observation clearly shows electron drift resonance with the fundamental poloidal mode, the energy dependence of the amplitude and phase of the electron flux modulations providing strong evidence for such an interaction. Significantly, the observation highlights the importance of localized wave-particle interactions for understanding energetic particle dynamics in the inner magnetosphere, through the intermediary of ULF waves.

Claudepierre, S.; Mann, I.R.; Takahashi, K; Fennell, J.; Hudson, M.; Blake, J.; Roeder, J.; Clemmons, J.; Spence, H.; Reeves, G.; Baker, D.; Funsten, H.; Friedel, R.; Henderson, M.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Wygant, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/grl.50901

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

Excitation of Poloidal standing Alfven waves through the drift resonance wave-particle interaction

Drift-resonance wave-particle interaction is a fundamental collisionless plasma process studied extensively in theory. Using cross-spectral analysis of electric field, magnetic field, and ion flux data from the Van Allen Probe (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) spacecraft, we present direct evidence identifying the generation of a fundamental mode standing poloidal wave through drift-resonance interactions in the inner magnetosphere. Intense azimuthal electric field (Eφ) oscillations as large as 10mV/m are observed, associated with radial magnetic field (Br) oscillations in the dawn-noon sector near but south of the magnetic equator at L\~5. The observed wave period, Eφ/Br ratio and the 90\textdegree phase lag between Br and Eφ are all consistent with fundamental mode standing Poloidal waves. Phase shifts between particle fluxes and wave electric fields clearly demonstrate a drift resonance with \~90 keV ring current ions. The estimated earthward gradient of ion phase space density provides a free energy source for wave generation through the drift-resonance instability. A similar drift-resonance process should occur ubiquitously in collisionless plasma systems. One specific example is the \textquotedblleftfishbone\textquotedblright instability in fusion plasma devices. In addition, our observations have important implications for the long-standing mysterious origin of Giant Pulsations.

Dai, L.; Takahashi, K; Wygant, J.; Chen, L.; Bonnell, J; Cattell, C.; Thaller, S.; Kletzing, C.; Smith, C.; MacDowall, R.; Baker, D.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Funsten, H.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/grl.50800

RBSP; Van Allen Probes

An unusual enhancement of low-frequency plasmaspheric hiss in the outer plasmasphere associated with substorm-injected electrons

Both plasmaspheric hiss and chorus waves were observed simultaneously by the two Van Allen Probes in association with substorm-injected energetic electrons. Probe A, located inside the plasmasphere in the postdawn sector, observed intense plasmaspheric hiss, whereas Probe B observed chorus waves outside the plasmasphere just before dawn. Dispersed injections of energetic electrons were observed in the dayside outer plasmasphere associated with significant intensification of plasmaspheric hiss at frequencies down to ~20 Hz, much lower than typical hiss wave frequencies of 100\textendash2000 Hz. In the outer plasmasphere, the upper energy of injected electrons agrees well with the minimum cyclotron resonant energy calculated for the lower cutoff frequency of the observed hiss, and computed convective linear growth rates indicate instability at the observed low frequencies. This suggests that the unusual low-frequency plasmaspheric hiss is likely to be amplified in the outer plasmasphere due to the injected energetic electrons.

Li, W.; Thorne, R.; Bortnik, J.; Reeves, G.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Hospodarsky, G.; Spence, H.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Wygant, J.; Thaller, S.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1002/grl.50787

Van Allen Probes

Electron Acceleration in the Heart of the Van Allen Radiation Belts

The Van Allen radiation belts contain ultrarelativistic electrons trapped in Earth\textquoterights magnetic field. Since their discovery in 1958, a fundamental unanswered question has been how electrons can be accelerated to such high energies. Two classes of processes have been proposed: transport and acceleration of electrons from a source population located outside the radiation belts (radial acceleration) or acceleration of lower-energy electrons to relativistic energies in situ in the heart of the radiation belts (local acceleration). We report measurements from NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Radiation Belt Storm Probes that clearly distinguish between the two types of acceleration. The observed radial profiles of phase space density are characteristic of local acceleration in the heart of the radiation belts and are inconsistent with a predominantly radial acceleration process.

Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Henderson, M.; Morley, S.; Friedel, R.; Funsten, H.; Baker, D.; Kanekal, S.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Claudepierre, S.; Thorne, R.; Turner, D.; Kletzing, C.; Kurth, W.; Larsen, B.; Niehof, J.;

Published by: Science      Published on: 07/2013

YEAR: 2013     DOI: 10.1126/science.1237743

Van Allen Probes


Outward radial diffusion driven by losses at magnetopause

Loss mechanisms responsible for the sudden depletions of the outer electron radiation belt are examined based on observations and radial diffusion modeling, with L*-derived boundary conditions. SAMPEX data for October\textendashDecember 2003 indicate that depletions often occur when the magnetopause is compressed and geomagnetic activity is high, consistent with outward radial diffusion for L* > 4 driven by loss to the magnetopause. Multichannel Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) satellite observations show that depletions at higher L occur at energies as low as a few hundred keV, which excludes the possibility of the electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) wave-driven pitch angle scattering and loss to the atmosphere at L* > 4. We further examine the viability of the outward radial diffusion loss by comparing CRRES observations with radial diffusion model simulations. Model-data comparison shows that nonadiabatic flux dropouts near geosynchronous orbit can be effectively propagated by the outward radial diffusion to L* = 4 and can account for the main phase depletions of outer radiation belt electron fluxes.

Shprits, Y; Thorne, R.; Friedel, R.; Reeves, G.; Fennell, J.; Baker, D.; Kanekal, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research      Published on: 11/2006

YEAR: 2006     DOI: 10.1029/2006JA011657

Magnetopause Losses


Energization of relativistic electrons in the presence of ULF power and MeV microbursts: Evidence for dual ULF and VLF acceleration

We examine signatures of two types of waves that may be involved in the acceleration of energetic electrons in Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belts. We have compiled a database of ULF wave power from SAMNET and IMAGE ground magnetometer stations for 1987\textendash2001. Long-duration, comprehensive, in situ VLF/ELF chorus wave observations are not available, so we infer chorus wave activity from low-altitude SAMPEX observations of MeV electron microbursts for 1996\textendash2001 since microbursts are thought to be caused by interactions between chorus and trapped electrons. We compare the ULF and microburst observations to in situ trapped electrons observed by high-altitude satellites from 1989\textendash2001. We find that electron acceleration at low L shells is closely associated with both ULF activity and MeV microbursts and thereby probably also with chorus activity. Electron flux enhancements across the outer radiation belt are, in general, related to both ULF and VLF/ELF activity. However, we suggest that electron flux peaks observed at L \~ 4.5 are likely caused by VLF/ELF wave acceleration, while ULF activity probably produces the dominant electron acceleration at geosynchronous orbit and beyond.

O\textquoterightBrien, T.; Lorentzen, K.; Mann, I.; Meredith, N.; Blake, J.; Fennell, J.; Looper, M.; Milling, D.; Anderson, R.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research      Published on: 08/2003

YEAR: 2003     DOI: 10.1029/2002JA009784

Local Acceleration due to Wave-Particle Interaction

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