IGPP Seminar Series

RBSP Mission: Understanding Transport and Acceleration in the Electron Radiation Belt

by Sasha Ukhorskiy
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Abstract

During past 50 years of space exploration and research our understating of radiation belts considerably evolved. It is now recognized that radiation belt fluxes exhibit highly dynamical nonlinear response to varying geomagnetic conditions with complex spatial and temporal properties. Some profound physical mysteries still remain. Their solution is critical for Space Weather applications at Earth as well as our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of high-energy particle acceleration and transport across the universe. Predictive understanding of dynamic variability of the belts requires a broad range of coordinated measurements of particles and fields that determine particle motions. NASA RBSP two-spacecraft mission in collaboration with other space missions, balloon and ground based observations will provide a complete set of measurements to address complex variability of the belts. This talk will give a brief overview of the RBSP mission and will discuss how complex radial transport may contribute to dynamic variability of electron fluxes across the outer electron belt. In particular, it will review recent analysis of the role of drift orbit bifurcations in electron energization and loss.
Tuesday, 03 May 2011
3853 Slichter Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 PM
Lecture at 4:00 PM