Optimization of radial diffusion coefficients for the proton radiation belt during the CRRES era

Proton flux measurements from the Proton Telescope instrument aboard the CRRES satellite are revisited, and used to drive a radial diffusion model of the inner proton belt at 1.1 ≤ L ≤ 1.65. Our model utilises a physics‐based evaluation of the cosmic ray albedo neutron decay (CRAND) source, and coulomb collisional loss is driven by a drift averaged density model combining results from the International Reference Ionosphere, NRLMSIS‐00 atmosphere and Radio Plasma Imager plasmasphere models, parameterised by solar activity and season. We drive our model using time‐averaged data at L = 1.65 to calculate steady state profiles of equatorial phase space density, and optimise our choice of radial diffusion coefficients based on four defining parameters to minimise the difference between model and data. This is first performed for a quiet period when the belt can be assumed to represent steady state. Additionally, we investigate fitting steady state solutions to time averages taken during active periods where the data exhibits limited deviation from steady state, demonstrated by CRRES measurements following the 24th March 1991 storm. We also discuss a way to make the optimisation process more reliable by excluding periods of variability in plasmaspheric density from any time average. Lastly, we compare our resultant diffusion coefficients to those derived via a similar process in previous work, and diffusion coefficients derived for electrons from ground and in situ observations. We find that higher diffusion coefficients are derived compared with previous work, and suggest more work is required to derive proton diffusion coefficients for different geomagnetic activity levels.


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Authors: Lozinski, Alexander R. ORCIDORCID record for Alexander R. Lozinski, Horne, Richard B. ORCIDORCID record for Richard B. Horne, Glauert, Sarah A. ORCIDORCID record for Sarah A. Glauert, Del Zanna, Giulio, Albert, Jay M.

On this site: Alexander Lozinski, Richard Horne, Sarah Glauert
16 March, 2021
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics / 126
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