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Creators/Authors contains: "Chu, Xiangning"

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  1. Abstract

    We investigate the response of outer radiation belt electron fluxes to different solar wind and geomagnetic indices using an interpretable machine learning method. We reconstruct the electron flux variation during 19 enhancement and 7 depletion events and demonstrate the feature attribution analysis called SHAP (SHapley Additive exPlanations) on the superposed epoch results for the first time. We find that the intensity and duration of the substorm sequence following an initial dropout determine the overall enhancement or depletion of electron fluxes, while the solar wind pressure drives the initial dropout in both types of events. Further statistical results from a data set with 71 events confirm this and show a significant correlation between the resulting flux levels and the average AL index, indicating that the observed “depletion” event can be more accurately described as a “non‐enhancement” event. Our novel SHAP‐Enhanced Superposed Epoch Analysis (SHESEA) method can offer insight in various physical systems.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 16, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Electron density plays an important role in the study of wave propagation and is known to be associated with the index of refraction and radiation belt diffusion coefficients. The primary objective of our investigation is to explore the possibility of implementing an onboard signal processing algorithm to automatically obtain electron densities from the upper hybrid resonance traces of wave spectrograms for future missions. U‐Net, developed for biomedical image segmentation, has been adapted as our deep learning architecture with results being compared with those extracted from a more traditional semi‐automated method. As a product, electron densities and cyclotron frequencies for the entire DSX mission between 2019 and 2021 are acquired for further analysis and applications. Due to limited space measurements, a synthetic image generator based on data statistics and randomization is proposed as an initial step toward the development of a generative adversarial network in hopes of providing unlimited realistic data sources for advanced machine learning.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  3. Empirical models have been previously developed using the large dataset of satellite observations to obtain the global distributions of total electron density and whistler-mode wave power, which are important in modeling radiation belt dynamics. In this paper, we apply the empirical models to construct the total electron density and the wave amplitudes of chorus and hiss, and compare them with the observations along Van Allen Probes orbits to evaluate the model performance. The empirical models are constructed using the Hp30 and SME (or SML) indices. The total electron density model provides an overall high correlation coefficient with observations, while large deviations are found in the dynamic regions near the plasmapause or in the plumes. The chorus wave model generally agrees with observations when the plasma trough region is correctly modeled and for modest wave amplitudes of 10–100 pT. The model overestimates the wave amplitude when the chorus is not observed or weak, and underestimates the wave amplitude when a large-amplitude chorus is observed. Similarly, the hiss wave model has good performance inside the plasmasphere when modest wave amplitudes are observed. However, when the modeled plasmapause location does not agree with the observation, the model misidentifies the chorus and hiss waves compared to observations, and large modeling errors occur. In addition, strong (>200 pT) hiss waves are observed in the plumes, which are difficult to capture using the empirical model due to their transient nature and relatively poor sampling statistics. We also evaluate four metrics for different empirical models parameterized by different indices. Among the tested models, the empirical model considering a plasmapause and controlled by Hp* (the maximum Hp30 during the previous 24 h) and SME* (the maximum SME during the previous 3 h) or Hp* and SML has the best performance with low errors and high correlation coefficients. Our study indicates that the empirical models are applicable for predicting density and whistler-mode waves with modest power, but large errors could occur, especially near the highly-dynamic plasmapause or in the plumes.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 11, 2024
  4. Hiss waves play an important role in removing energetic electrons from Earth’s radiation belts by precipitating them into the upper atmosphere. Compared to plasmaspheric hiss that has been studied extensively, the evolution and effects of plume hiss are less understood due to the challenge of obtaining their global observations at high cadence. In this study, we use a neural network approach to model the global evolution of both the total electron density and the hiss wave amplitudes in the plasmasphere and plume. After describing the model development, we apply the model to a storm event that occurred on 14 May 2019 and find that the hiss wave amplitude first increased at dawn and then shifted towards dusk, where it was further excited within a narrow region of high density, namely, a plasmaspheric plume. During the recovery phase of the storm, the plume rotated and wrapped around Earth, while the hiss wave amplitude decayed quickly over the nightside. Moreover, we simulated the overall energetic electron evolution during this storm event, and the simulated flux decay rate agrees well with the observations. By separating the modeled plasmaspheric and plume hiss waves, we quantified the effect of plume hiss on energetic electron dynamics. Our simulation demonstrates that, under relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions, the region with plume hiss can vary from L = 4 to 6 and can account for up to an 80% decrease in electron fluxes at hundreds of keV at L > 4 over 3 days. This study highlights the importance of including the dynamic hiss distribution in future simulations of radiation belt electron dynamics.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Using particle and wave measurements from the Van Allen Probes, a 2‐D Fokker‐Planck simulation model driven by the time‐integrated auroral index (AL) value is developed. Simulations for a large sample of 186 storm‐time events are conducted, demonstrating that the AL‐driven model can reproduce flux enhancement of the MeV electrons. More importantly, the relativistic electron flux enhancement is determined by the sustained strong substorm activity. Enhanced substorm activity results in increased chorus wave intensity and reduced background electron density, which creates the required condition for local electron acceleration by chorus waves to MeV energies. The appearance of higher energy electrons in radiation belts requires a higher level of cumulative AL activity after the storm commencement, which acts as a type of switch, turning on progressively higher energies for longer and more intense substorms, at critical thresholds.

     
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  6. Abstract

    Whistler mode waves in the plasmasphere and plumes drive significant losses of energetic electrons from the Earth's radiation belts into the upper atmosphere. In this study, we conducted a survey of amplitude‐dependent whistler wave properties and analyzed their associated background plasma conditions and electron fluxes in the plasmasphere and plumes. Our findings indicate that extremely large amplitude (>400 pT) whistler waves (a) tend to occur atL > 4 over the midnight‐dawn‐noon sectors and have small wave normal angles; (b) are more likely to occur during active geomagnetic conditions associated with higher fluxes of anisotropic electrons at 10 s keV energies; and (c) tend to occur at higher latitudes up to 20° with increasing amplitude. These results suggest that extremely large amplitude whistler waves in the plasmasphere and plumes could be generated locally by injected electrons during substorms and further amplified when propagating to higher latitudes.

     
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  7. Abstract

    Whistler‐mode chorus waves play an essential role in the acceleration and loss of energetic electrons in the Earth’s inner magnetosphere, with the more intense waves producing the most dramatic effects. However, it is challenging to predict the amplitude of strong chorus waves due to the imbalanced nature of the data set, that is, there are many more non‐chorus data points than strong chorus waves. Thus, traditional models usually underestimate chorus wave amplitudes significantly during active times. Using an imbalanced regressive (IR) method, we develop a neural network model of lower‐band (LB) chorus waves using 7‐year observations from the EMFISIS instrument onboard Van Allen Probes. The feature selection process suggests that the auroral electrojet index alone captures most of the variations of chorus waves. The large amplitude of strong chorus waves can be predicted for the first time. Furthermore, our model shows that the equatorial LB chorus’s spatiotemporal evolution is similar to the drift path of substorm‐injected electrons. We also show that the chorus waves have a peak amplitude at the equator in the source MLT near midnight, but toward noon, there is a local minimum in amplitude at the equator with two off‐equator amplitude peaks in both hemispheres, likely caused by the bifurcated drift paths of substorm injections on the dayside. The IR‐based chorus model will improve radiation belt prediction by providing chorus wave distributions, especially storm‐time strong chorus. Since data imbalance is ubiquitous and inherent in space physics and other physical systems, imbalanced regressive methods deserve more attention in space physics.

     
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  8. Abstract

    The present study uncovers the fine structures of magnetosonic waves by investigating the EFW waveforms measured by Van Allen Probes. We show that each harmonic of the magnetosonic wave may consist of a series of elementary rising‐tone emissions, implying a nonlinear mechanism for the wave generation. By investigating an elementary rising‐tone magnetosonic wave that spans a wide frequency range, we show that the frequency sweep rate is likely proportional to the wave frequency. We studied compound rising‐tone magnetosonic waves, and found that they typically consist of multiple harmonics in the source region, and may gradually become continuous in frequency as they propagate away from source. Both elementary and compound rising‐tone magnetosonic waves last for ∼1 min which is close to the bounce period of the ring proton distribution, but their relation is not fully understood.

     
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  9. Abstract

    Terrestrial ring current dynamics are a critical part of the near‐space environment, in that they directly drive geomagnetic field variations that control particle drifts, and define geomagnetic storms. The present study aims to specify a global and time‐varying distribution of ring current proton using geomagnetic indices and solar wind parameters with their history as input. We train an artificial neural network (ANN) model to reproduce proton fluxes measured by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment instrument onboard Van Allen Probes. By choosing optimal feature parameters and their history length, the model results show a high correlation and a small error between model specifications and satellite measurements. The modeled results well capture energy‐dependent proton dynamics in association with geomagnetic storms, including inward radial diffusion, acceleration and decay. Our ANN model produces proton fluxes with their corresponding 3D spatiotemporal variations, capturing the latitudinal distribution and local time asymmetry that are consistent with observations and that can further inform theory.

     
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