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High-energy radiation belt electrons from CRAND

AuthorSelesnick, R.;
Keywordsinner radiation; electron source from cosmic ray albedo neutron decay
AbstractA calculation of the inner radiation belt electron source from cosmic ray albedo neutron decay (CRAND) is described. High-energy electrons are included by Lorentz-transforming the β decay spectrum from the neutron rest frame to the Earth\textquoterights rest frame and combining with the known high-energy albedo neutron energy spectrum. Balancing the electron source with energy loss to atmospheric neutral atoms and plasma, and with a decay lifetime representative of plasma wave scattering, then provides an estimate of trapped electron intensity. It is well below measured values for low energies, confirming that CRAND is not a significant source of those trapped electrons. For kinetic energies above the maximum β decay energy (E > 0.8 MeV) a power law energy spectrum \~E-4 is predicted. For L = 1.5 and inline image MeV the computed omnidirectional trapped electron intensity exceeds an extrapolation of the measured low-energy exponential energy spectrum.
Year of Publication2015
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages
Date Published03/2015