Lecturer: George K. Parks (SSL)
Date: 2012-05-10 10:30
Place: Aniara

Acceleration and Precipitation of Relativistic Electrons

George K. Parks
Space Sciences Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley

The existence of relativistic electrons in the Earth’s magnetosphere has been known since the first days of the space age. However, the mechanisms that can accelerate electrons to relativistic energies on a relatively short time scale still remain not well understood. There are two regions of the magnetosphere where relativistic electrons are often observed. Microbursts with relativistic energies occur on the morning sector while slower variations (~few minutes) relativistic electrons precipitate on the evening side. Theories predict wave-particle interaction and pitch-angle scattering can account for relativistic acceleration and precipitation. The soon to be launched mission, RBSP, has been designed to solve this problem. However, RBSP alone cannot solve the problem because particles in the loss cone will not be measured. Thus, RBSP also has incorporated a balloon program, BARREL as part of the mission. In addition, there are two cubesat missions that have detectors similar to ones on RBSP. There is also a low altitude polar orbiting spacecraft DSX which has particle detectors and the measurements will be coordinated with the RBSP mission. We will discuss how data from all of these programs will be used to understand the particle acceleration and precipitation mechanisms and to test the wave-particle interaction theories.

Created 2012-05-02 11:29:34 by Mats Holmström
Last changed 2012-05-02 19:57:00 by Mats Holmström