Simulation of proton radiation belt formation during the March 24, 1991 SSC

M. K. Hudson, A. D. Kotelnikov, X. Li, I. Roth, M. Temerin, J. Wygant, J. B. Blake, M. S. Gussenhoven

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The rapid formation of a new proton radiation belt at L ≃ 2.5 following the March 24, 1991 Storm Sudden Commencement (SSC) observed at the CRRES satellite is modelled using a relativistic guiding center test particle code. The SSC is modelled by a bipolar electric field and associated compression and relaxation in the magnetic field, superimposed on a dipole magnetic field. The source population consists of both solar and trapped inner zone protons. The simulations show that while both populations contribute to drift echoes in the 20–80 MeV range, primary contribution is from the solar protons. Proton acceleration by the SSC differs from relativistic electron acceleration in that different source populations contribute and nonrelativistic conservation of the first adiabatic invariant leads to greater energization of protons for a given decrease in L. Model drift echoes and flux distribution in L at the time of injection compare well with CRRES observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1995

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