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Abstract The Electron Loss and Fields Investigation with a Spatio-Temporal Ambiguity-Resolving option (ELFIN-STAR, or heretoforth simply: ELFIN) mission comprises two identical 3-Unit (3U) CubeSats on a polar (∼93 ∘ inclination), nearly circular, low-Earth (∼450 km altitude) orbit. Launched on September 15, 2018, ELFIN is expected to have a >2.5 year lifetime. Its primary science objective is to resolve the mechanism of storm-time relativistic electron precipitation, for which electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are a prime candidate. From its ionospheric vantage point, ELFIN uses its unique pitch-angle-resolving capability to determine whether measured relativistic electron pitch-angle and energy spectra within the loss cone bear the characteristic signatures of scattering by EMIC waves or whether such scattering may be due to other processes. Pairing identical ELFIN satellites with slowly-variable along-track separation allows disambiguation of spatial and temporal evolution of the precipitation over minutes-to-tens-of-minutes timescales, faster than the orbit period of a single low-altitude satellite (T orbit ∼ 90 min). Each satellite carries an energetic particle detector for electrons (EPDE) that measures 50 keV to 5 MeV electrons with $\Delta $ Δ E/E < 40% and a fluxgate magnetometer (FGM) on a ∼72 cm boom that measures magnetic field waves (e.g., EMIC waves) in the range from DC tomore »
Resonance broadening effect for relativistic electron interaction with electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves
Relativistic electron scattering by electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves is one of the most effective mechanisms for >1 MeV electron flux depletion in the Earth's radiation belts. Resonant electron interaction with EMIC waves is traditionally described by quasi-linear diffusion equations, although spacecraft observations often report EMIC waves with intensities sufficiently large to trigger nonlinear resonant interaction with electrons. An important consequence of such nonlinear interaction is the resonance broadening effect due to high wave amplitudes. In this study, we quantify this resonance broadening effect in electron pitch-angle diffusion rates. We show that resonance broadening can significantly increase the pitch-angle range of EMIC-scattered electrons. This increase is especially important for [Formula: see text] MeV electrons, where, without the resonance broadening, only those near the loss cone (with low fluxes) can resonate with EMIC waves.
Recent analysis of energetic electron measurements from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer instruments onboard the Van Allen Probes showed a local time variation of the equatorial electron intensity in the Earth’s inner radiation belt. The local time asymmetry was interpreted as evidence of drift shell distortion by a large-scale electric field. It was also demonstrated that the inclusion of a simple dawn-to-dusk electric field model improved the agreement between observations and theoretical expectations. Yet, exactly what drives this electric field was left unexplained. We combine in-situ field and particle observations, together with a physics-based coupled model, the Rice Convection Model (RCM) Coupled Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Plasmasphere-electrodynamics (CTIPe), to revisit the local time asymmetry of the equatorial electron intensity observed in the innermost radiation belt. The study is based on the dawn-dusk difference in equatorial electron intensity measured at L = 1.30 during the first 60 days of the year 2014. Analysis of measured equatorial electron intensity in the 150–400 keV energy range, in-situ DC electric field measurements and wind dynamo modeling outputs provide consistent estimates of the order of 6–8 kV for the average dawn-to-dusk electric potential variation. This suggests that the dynamo electric fields produced by tidal motion of upper atmospheric winds flowing across Earth’smore »
In the present study, we explore the observational characteristics of Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) wave propagation from the source region to the ground. We use magnetometers aboard Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite (GOES) 13, the geosynchronous orbit satellite at 75°W, and at Sanikiluaq ground station (SNK, 79.14°W and 56.32°N in geographic coordinates, and L ∼ 6.0 in a dipole magnetic field) which is located in northern Canada. Using these magnetically conjugate observatories, simultaneous EMIC wave observations are carried out. We found a total of 295 coincident and 248 non-coincident EMIC wave events between GOES 13 and the SNK station. Our statistical analysis reveals that the coincident events are predominantly observed on the dayside. The wave normal angles are slightly higher for the non-coincident events than for coincident events. However, the coincidence of the waves is mostly governed by the intensity and duration of the wave. This is confirmed by the geomagnetic environment which shows higher auroral electrojet (AE) and Kp indices for the coincident events. We also found that some events show high-frequency (f > 0.4 Hz) wave filtering. The statistics of the high-frequency filtered and non-filtered wave events show that there are clear magnetic local time (MLT) and F10.7 indexmore »
The technique to estimate the mass density in the magnetosphere using the physical properties of observed magnetohydrodynamic waves is known as magnetoseismology. This technique is important in magnetospheric research given the difficulty of determining the density using particle experiments. This paper presents a review of magnetoseismic studies based on satellite observations of standing Alfvén waves. The data sources for the studies include AMPTE/CCE, CRRES, GOES, Geotail, THEMIS, Van Allen Probes, and Arase. We describe data analysis and density modeling techniques, major results, and remaining issues in magnetoseismic research.