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Relativistic Electrons Observed at UARS and the Interpretation of their Storm-Associated Intensity VariationsThe High Energy Particle Spectrometer (HEPS) instrument on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) provides a database of electron intensities well resolved in energy and pitch-angle. Because of its 57 deg. orbital inclination, UARS encounters with magnetic shells L greater than 2 occur quite far off-equator (B/B (sub 0) greater than 9), corresponding to equatorial pitch angle alpha (sub 0) greater than 20 deg. Data acquired by HEPS (October 1991 through September 1994) span the declining phase of Solar Cycle 22. To reveal the storm-associated time dependence of relativistic electron intensities over the wide range of energies (50 keV to 5 MeV) covered by HEPS, we divide the daily average of the measured spectrum at a given L value (bin width = 0.25) by the corresponding 500-day average and plot the results with a color scale that spans only 2.5 decades. The data show that our off-equatorial electron intensities typically increase with time after the end of recovery phase (not during main phase or recovery phase) of each geomagnetic storm. The delay in off-equatorial energetic electron response and the subsequent lifetime of the corresponding electron flux enhancement seem to increase with particle energy above 300 keV. The trend below 300 keV seems to be opposite, such that the delay varies inversely with electron energy. Our working hypothesis for interpretation is that stormtime radial transport tends to increase the phase-space densities of trapped relativistic electrons but typically leads to a flux increases at specified energies only as the current (as indicated by Dst) decays. Flux enhancements in early recovery phase are greatest for equatorially mirroring electrons, and to pitch-angle anisotropies are initially large. Subsequent pitch-angle diffusion broadens the flux enhancement to particles that mirror off equator, thus gradually increasing low-altitude electron intensities (as detected by HEPS/UARS) on time scales equal to about 20% of corresponding lifetimes against diffusion into the loss cone. Alternative interpretations will also be examined.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pesnell, W. D. (Nomad Research, Inc. Bowie, MD United States)
Goldberg, R. A. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Chenette, D. L. (Lockheed Martin Corp. Palo Alto, CA United States)
Gaines, E. E. (Lockheed Martin Corp. Palo Alto, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Meeting Information
American Geophysical Union Springl Meeting(San Francisco, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.