skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Hartinger, Michael D."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 16, 2023
  2. Many spacecraft fly within or through a natural and variable particle accelerator powered by the coupling between the magnetosphere and the solar wind: the Earth’s radiation belts. Determining the dominant pathways to plasma energization is a central challenge for radiation belt science and space weather alike. Inward radial transport from an external source was originally thought to be the most important acceleration process occurring in the radiation belts. Yet, when modeling relied on a radial diffusion equation including electron lifetimes, notable discrepancies in model-observation comparisons highlighted a need for improvement. Works by Professor Richard M. Thorne and others showed that energetic (hundreds of keV) electrons interacting with whistler-mode chorus waves could be efficiently accelerated to very high energies. The same principles were soon transposed to understand radiation belt dynamics at Jupiter and Saturn. These results led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation belt acceleration, supported by observations of a growing peak in the radial profile of the phase space density for the most energetic electrons of the Earth’s outer belt. Yet, quantifying the importance of local acceleration at the gyroscale, versus large-scale acceleration associated with radial transport, remains controversial due to various sources of uncertainty. The objectivemore »of this review is to provide context to understand the variety of challenges associated with differentiating between the two main radiation belt acceleration processes: radial transport and local acceleration. Challenges range from electron flux measurement analysis to radiation belt modeling based on a three-dimensional Fokker-Planck equation. We also provide recommendations to inform future research on radiation belt radial transport and local acceleration.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 13, 2023
  3. Abstract Ionospheric irregularities can adversely affect the performance of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). However, this opens the possibility of using GNSS as an effective ionospheric remote sensing tool. Despite ionospheric monitoring has been undertaken for decades, these irregularities in multiple spatial and temporal scales are still not fully understood. This paper reviews Virginia Tech’s recent studies on multi-scale ionospheric irregularities using ground-based and space-based GNSS observations. First, the relevant background of ionospheric irregularities and their impact on GNSS signals is reviewed. Next, three topics of ground-based observations of ionospheric irregularities for which GNSS and other ground-based techniques are used simultaneously are reviewed. Both passive and active measurements in high-latitude regions are covered. Modelling and observations in mid-latitude regions are considered as well. Emphasis is placed on the increased capability of assessing the multi-scale nature of ionospheric irregularities using other traditional techniques (e.g., radar, magnetometer, high frequency receivers) as well as GNSS observations (e.g., Total-Electron-Content or TEC, scintillation). Besides ground-based observations, recent advances in GNSS space-based ionospheric measurements are briefly reviewed. Finally, a new space-based ionospheric observation technique using GNSS-based spacecraft formation flying and a differential TEC method is demonstrated using the newly developed Virginia Tech Formation Flying Testbed (VTFFTB).more »Based on multi-constellation multi-band GNSS, the VTFFTB has been developed into a hardware-in-the-loop simulation testbed with external high-fidelity global ionospheric model(s) for 3-satellite formation flying, which can potentially be used for new multi-scale ionospheric measurement mission design.« less
  4. Abstract. Instrument platforms the world over often rely on GPS or similar satellite constellations for accurate timekeeping and synchronization. This reliance can create problems when the timekeeping counter aboard a satellite overflows and begins a new epoch. Due to the rarity of these events (19.6 years for GPS), software designers may be unaware of such circumstance or may choose to ignore it for development complexity considerations. Although it is impossible to predict every fault that may occur in a complicated system, there are a few “best practices” that can allow for graceful fault recovery and restorative action. These guiding principles are especially pertinent for instrument platforms operating in space or in remote locations like Antarctica, where restorative maintenance is both difficult and expensive. In this work, we describe how these principles apply to a communications failure on autonomous adaptive low-power instrument platforms (AAL-PIP) deployed in Antarctica. In particular, we describe how code execution patterns were subtly altered after the GPS week number rollover of April 2019, how this led to Iridium satellite communications and data collection failures, and how communications and data collection were ultimately restored. Finally, we offer some core tenets of instrument platform design as guidance for future development.