Characterizing Radiation‐Belt Energetic Electron Precipitation Spectra: A Comparison of Quasi‐Linear Diffusion Theory With In Situ Measurements

High energy electron precipitation from the Earth's radiation belts is important for loss from the radiation belts and atmospheric chemistry. We follow up investigations presented in Reidy et al. (2021, where precipitating flux is calculated inside the field of view of the POES T0 detector using quasi-linear theory and pitch angle diffusion coefficients (Dαα) from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). These results showed good agreements at >30 keV for L* >5 on the dawnside but the flux were too low at higher energies. We have investigated the effect of changing parameters in the calculation of the precipitating flux to improve the results for the higher energies using comparisons of in situ flux and cold plasma measurements from GOES-15 and RBSP. We find that the strength of the diffusion coefficients rather than the shape of the source spectrum has the biggest effect on the calculated precipitation. In particular we find decreasing the cold plasma density used in the calculation of Dαα increases the diffusion and hence the precipitation at the loss cone for the higher energies, improving our results. The method of calculating Dαα is also examined, comparing co-located rather than averaged RBSP measurements. We find that the method itself has minimal effect but using RBSP derived Dαα improved our results over using Dαα calculated using the entire BAS wave data base; this is potentially due to better measurements of the cold plasma density from RBSP than the other spacecraft included in the BAS wave data base (e.g., THEMIS).


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Authors: Reidy, J.A. ORCIDORCID record for J.A. Reidy, Horne, R.B. ORCIDORCID record for R.B. Horne, Glauert, S.A. ORCIDORCID record for S.A. Glauert, Clilverd, M.A. ORCIDORCID record for M.A. Clilverd, Meredith, N.P. ORCIDORCID record for N.P. Meredith, Rodger, C.J., Ross, J.P. ORCIDORCID record for J.P. Ross, Wong, J.P. ORCIDORCID record for J.P. Wong

On this site: Jade Reidy, Jenny Wong, Johnathan Ross, Mark Clilverd, Nigel Meredith, Richard Horne, Sarah Glauert, Jade Reidy
27 January, 2024
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics / 129
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