National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt: Understanding how losses contribute to flux variability during storms

ROSES ID: NRA-03-OSS-01      Selection Year: 2004      

Program Element: Independent Investigation: LWS

Principal Investigator: Janet Green

Affiliation(s): LASP, University of Colorado

Project Member(s):
O'Brien, Thomas Paul COI Aerospace Corporation
Nelson, Laurence D Authorizing Official University of Colorado at Boulder
Onsager, Terrance G Collaborator NOAA/SEC


Recent studies show that storms can cause the outer radiation belt electron flux levels to increase or decrease suggesting that both acceleration and loss are enhanced and either process may dominate. The purpose of the proposed research is to understand how losses contribute to the variation of the outer radiation belt electron flux during storms. Several loss mechanisms have been proposed but not confirmed partly because of difficulties even identifying true loss that is often obscured by flux changes due to adiabatic electron motion. We propose to first identify times, locations, and amounts of true electron loss during storms by examining electron phase space density expressed as a function of the adiabatic invariants which highlights true irreversible electron loss. Secondly, we will examine whether precipitation to the atmosphere contributes to electron loss during storms by comparing the time, location, and amount of true loss to measured precipitation. Lastly, we will determine whether magnetopause encounters contribute to electron loss during storms by comparing the time and location of observed loss to modeled magnetopause encounters and by comparing electron and proton phase space density that should both be similarly affected by magnetopause encounters.


Performance YearReferenceInvestigation TypeActions
1Janet Green / LASP, University of Colorado - Relativistic El...
not set
1Green, Janet C.; Kivelson, M. G.; (2004), Relativistic ...
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Performance YearReferenceActions
1Green, J. C.; Onsager, T. G.; O'Brien, T.; Fras...
1Green, Janet; O'Brien, Paul; Onsager, Terrance; F...

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