Radiation Belt Environment model: application to space weather nowcasting
A data-driven physical model of the energetic electrons in the Earth's radiation belts, called the Radiation Belt Environment (RBE) model, has been developed to understand Earth's radiation belt dynamics and to predict the radiation conditions found there. This model calculates radiation belt electron fluxes from 10 keV to 6 MeV in the inner magnetosphere. It takes into account the realistic, time-varying magnetic field and considers effects of wave-particle interactions with whistler mode chorus waves. The storm on 23–27 October 2002 is simulated and the temporal evolutions of the radial and pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons are examined. The calculated electron fluxes agree very well with particle data from the low-orbit SAMPEX and LANL geosynchronous satellites, when the wave-particle interactions are taken into account during storm recovery. Flux increases begin near the plasmapause and then diffuse outward to higher L shells, consistent with previous findings from statistical studies. A simplified version of the RBE model is now running in real time to provide nowcasting of the radiation belt environment. With further improvements and refinements, this model will have important value in both scientific and space weather applications
Authors: Fok, Mei-Ching, Horne, Richard B., Meredith, Nigel P., Glauert, Sarah A.