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Long-term radiation belt simulation with the VERB 3-D code: Comparison with CRRES observations

Subbotin D. A., Y. Y. Shprits, B. Ni, (2011), Long-term radiation belt simulation with the VERB 3-D code: Comparison with CRRES observations, J. of Geophys. Res. [Space Physics], 116, doi:10.1029/2011JA017019

Abstract

Highly energetic electrons in the Earth’s radiation belts are hazardous for satellite equipment. Fluxes of relativistic electrons can vary by orders of magnitude during geomagnetic storms. The evolution of relativistic electron fluxes in the radiation belts is described by the 3-D Fokker-Planck equation in terms of the radial distance, energy, and equatorial pitch angle. To better understand the mechanisms that control radiation belt acceleration and loss and particle flux dynamics, we present a long-term radiation belt simulation for 100 days from 29 July to 6 November 1990 with the 3-D Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code and compare the results with the electron fluxes observed by the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES). We also perform a comparison of Phase Space Density with a multisatellite reanalysis obtained by using Kalman filtering of observations from CRRES, Geosynchronous (GEO), GPS, and Akebono satellites. VERB 3-D simulations include radial, energy, and pitch angle diffusion and mixed energy and pitch angle diffusion driven by electromagnetic waves inside the magnetosphere with losses to the atmosphere. Boundary conditions account for the convective source of electrons and loss to the magnetopause. The results of the simulation that include all of the above processes show a good agreement with the data. The agreement implies that these processes are important for the radiation belt electron dynamics and therefore should be accounted for in outer radiation belt simulations. We also show that the results are very sensitive to the assumed wave model. Our simulations are driven only by the variation of the Kp index and variations of the seed electron population around geosynchronous orbit, which allows the model to be used for forecasting and nowcasting.

Authors (sorted by name)

Ni Shprits Subbotin

Journal / Conference

Journal Of Geophysical Research (Space Physics)

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the UCOP lab research fee grant 09‐LR‐04‐116720‐SHPY and NASA NNX09AF516 grant. The authors would like to thank Drew Turner for helpful comments and suggestions.

Grants

09‐LR‐04116720 NNX09AF516

Bibtex

@article{doi:10.1029/2011JA017019,
author = {Subbotin, D. A. and Shprits, Y. Y. and Ni, B.},
title = {Long-term radiation belt simulation with the VERB 3-D code: Comparison with CRRES observations},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics},
year = {2011},
volume = {116},
number = {A12},
pages = {},
keywords = {CRRES, VERB, comparison with data, modeling, radiation belts, reanalysis},
doi = {10.1029/2011JA017019},
url = {https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2011JA017019},
eprint = {https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2011JA017019},
abstract = {Highly energetic electrons in the Earth’s radiation belts are hazardous for satellite equipment. Fluxes of relativistic electrons can vary by orders of magnitude during geomagnetic storms. The evolution of relativistic electron fluxes in the radiation belts is described by the 3-D Fokker-Planck equation in terms of the radial distance, energy, and equatorial pitch angle. To better understand the mechanisms that control radiation belt acceleration and loss and particle flux dynamics, we present a long-term radiation belt simulation for 100 days from 29 July to 6 November 1990 with the 3-D Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code and compare the results with the electron fluxes observed by the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES). We also perform a comparison of Phase Space Density with a multisatellite reanalysis obtained by using Kalman filtering of observations from CRRES, Geosynchronous (GEO), GPS, and Akebono satellites. VERB 3-D simulations include radial, energy, and pitch angle diffusion and mixed energy and pitch angle diffusion driven by electromagnetic waves inside the magnetosphere with losses to the atmosphere. Boundary conditions account for the convective source of electrons and loss to the magnetopause. The results of the simulation that include all of the above processes show a good agreement with the data. The agreement implies that these processes are important for the radiation belt electron dynamics and therefore should be accounted for in outer radiation belt simulations. We also show that the results are very sensitive to the assumed wave model. Our simulations are driven only by the variation of the Kp index and variations of the seed electron population around geosynchronous orbit, which allows the model to be used for forecasting and nowcasting.}
}