Comparing electron precipitation fluxes calculated from pitch angle diffusion coefficients to LEO satellite observations

Particle precipitation is a loss mechanism from the Radiation Belts whereby particles trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field are scattered into the loss cone due to wave‐particle interactions. Energetic electron precipitation creates ozone destroying chemicals which can affect the temperatures of the polar regions, therefore it is crucial to accurately quantify this impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. We use bounce‐averaged pitch angle diffusion coefficients for whistler mode chorus waves, plasmaspheric hiss and atmospheric collisions to calculate magnetic local time (MLT) dependent electron precipitation inside the field of view of the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) T0 detector, between 26‐30 March 2013. These diffusion coefficients are used in the BAS Radiation Belt Model (BAS‐RBM) and this paper is a first step towards testing the loss in this model via comparison with real world data. We find the best agreement between the calculated and measured T0 precipitation at L* > 5 on the dawnside for the > 30keV electron channel, consistent with precipitation driven by lower band chorus. Additional diffusion is required to explain the flux at higher energies and on the dusk side. The POES T0 detector underestimates electron precipitation as its field of view does not measure the entire loss cone. We demonstrate the potential for utilizing diffusion coefficients to reconstruct precipitating flux over the entire loss cone. Our results show that the total precipitation can exceed that measured by the POES > 30 keV electron channel by a factor that typically varies from 1 to 10 for L* = 6, 6.5 and 7.


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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. ORCIDORCID record for M. Clilverd, Meredith, N.P. ORCIDORCID record for N.P. Meredith, Woodfield, E. ORCIDORCID record for E. Woodfield, Ross, J.P. ORCIDORCID record for J.P. Ross, Allison, H.J., Rodger, C.J.

On this site: Emma Woodfield, Jade Reidy, Johnathan Ross, Mark Clilverd, Nigel Meredith, Richard Horne, Sarah Glauert, Jade Reidy
22 March, 2021
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics / 126
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