Journal of geophysical research, vol. 97, No. A6, Pages 8681-8683, june , 1992 icon

Journal of geophysical research, vol. 97, No. A6, Pages 8681-8683, june , 1992

НазваниеJournal of geophysical research, vol. 97, No. A6, Pages 8681-8683, june , 1992
Дата конвертации03.09.2012
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K. Kudela and J. Matisin

Institute of Experimental Physics, Slovak Academy of Sciences Kosice, Czechoslovakia

F. K. Shuiskaya, O. S. Akentieva, and T. V. Romantsova Space Research Institute, Academy of Sciences of USSR, Moscow

D. Venkatesan

Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Abstract. Measurements with the SPE-1 instrumentation on board the low-altitude satellite, Active, provide energy spectra of electrons in three directions and in 7, 15, or 31 energy channels quasi-logarithmically distributed approximately within the interval from 20 to 400 keV. The orbit allowed measurement of electrons in the altitude range from 500 to 2500 km and in all local time sectors within any 3-month interval. In the inner zone, multiple peaks, with the lowest one at 30 keV, are found in the trapped population at L<1.30 and at altitudes above 800 km. The long drift period of such electrons indicates that the drift acceleration resonance model proposed to explain peaks at higher energies is inappropriate here.


Energetic particles have been measured on board low-altitude satellites for three decades, beginning with the first detection of trapped populations in the magnetosphere. Nevertheless, many questions remain regarding the mechanisms of transport, acceleration, injection, and loss of these particles within the magnetosphere. One of the primary aims of the measurement of energetic particles on board the Active satellite was to investigate the possibility of induced electron and proton precipitation from the trapping region caused by powerful emissions of electromagnetic waves from on board the main satellite. Because of a failure in the antenna system, however, the power of these emitted waves was drastically reduced, thus limiting the possibility of this kind of study. We present here the first results of the measurement by the SPE-1 (spectrometer of protons and electrons) instrument on board the low-altitude Active satellite in the passive mode, i.e., routine measurements of the magnetosphere when no active emissions were being radiated from the satellite.

In recent years, several detailed energetic electron measurements on low-altitude satellites such as P72-1, P78-1, S78-1, and NOAA 6 have been reported [e.g., Imhof et al., 1986, Table 1; Datlowe and Imhof, 1990]. Similar measurements have been reported on high-apogee satellites such as the S3-3 [Swift and Gorney, 1989) as well as on satellites in geosynchronous orbit (Davidson et al., 1988].

Copyright 1992 by the American Geophysical Union.

Paper number 92JA00100. 0148-0227/92/92JA-00100$02.00

The energetic electron measurements in this study cover energies above 20 keV. The satellite crossed different L shells because of its high inclination. Thus the energy spectra of particles could be studied over a wide interval of latitudes.

After a description of the instrumentation, we shall concentrate on the low-latitude region. We shall present the electron energy spectra with local peaks below 100 keV in the inner radiation belt above 830 km. The large azimuthal drift periods of the particles near the lowest energy peak observed, around 30 keV, impose constraints upon the mechanism of azimuthal drift resonance of electrons with the equatorial electrojet.

Instrumentation and Orbit

Measurements of particle fluxes were obtained with the use of single silicon surface barrier detectors. Pulse height analysis of the energy deposits was used to determine the energy spectrum. In the SPE-1, three pairs of detectors were used in different orientations: The axes of the detectors were 99°, 69°, and 39° (detectors 1, 2, and 3) with respect to the zenith axis of the satellite. In each pair, one detector with a thickness of 100 j/m for protons and a second one with a thickness of 300 m for electrons were used. The angle between the axes of the detectors and the x axis, which lies in the orbital plane and was oriented along the velocity vector, was 157.5°. The full acceptance angle of each detector was 20°. In each pair the electron detector was covered by a Mylar foil stopping protons up to 700 keV. The proton detectors had a magnetic filter which rejected electrons up to 650 keV from the acceptance cone. The diameter of the detectors was 8 mm, and the geometrical factor was 0.03 cm2 sr. Active cooling of the detectors, accomplished with the help of Peltier elements, was used for noise reduction. The energy ranges were not identical for all the detectors owing to their individual characteristics. The common energy interval covered for protons was 25-800 keV and for electrons 20-400 keV. These intervals were divided quasi-logarithmically in energy. In the measurement mode with 7 energy channels, the width of the lowest channel was approximately 5 keV.

Three modes of measurement were possible, differing in temporal resolution of energy sampling and in the number of channels in each spectrum. The energy channels were divided nearly logarithmically, and the number was 7 in 4T, 15 in 8T, and 31 in 16T, respectively, where T equals


0 -



the telemetry interval. At the highest rate, T=10 ms, the lowest time resolution was 2.5 s. When one of the active modes of the VLF transmitter was switched on, the beginning of the measurement of a spectrum was synchronized with the pulse of the wave emission. The maximum count per channel was 255. When any one of the channels reached 255, the counting was stopped, and the corresponding time recorded. The upper limit of the counting rate was 3 x 104 per second in any channel. Two recording modes were available. For one telemetry mode (TM), the measurements were encoded into 12 TM channels (6 for electrons and 6 for protons) with appropriate commutation of all energy channels and all detectors in one cycle. The cycle (full spectrum) in different modes of measurements was 24, 48, or 96 bytes. One analog TM channel measured the total counting rate from different detectors. A second high-speed telemetry mode, STO, recorded the entire spectrum from each detector once every 100, 200, or 400 ms depending upon measurement mode. One digital telemetry channel (8 bits) was used for each measurement, including information on commands programmed and the mode of the VLF transmitter. Once every 10 s, the low-speed telemetry system recorded power supply voltages, temperatures, thresholds of all detectors, and information about the mode of measurement. If a detector became noisy, the threshold of the detector could be raised upon command. Raising the threshold causes a shift of all energy levels for the detector.

The calibration of the energy levels was made with a radioactive Cd 109 source, providing photoemission peaks at 80, 60, and 22 keV. In vacuum, all three energy peaks were used for calibration. Before launch, under normal air pressure, the 80-keV peak was used to check the operation of the device.

The high inclination (82.6°) and eccentric orbit (approximately 500 x 2500 km), together with the orbit's evolution, permitted measurement of energetic electrons in different local time sectors for different epochs. The cycle in the apogee's latitude was approximately 5.5 months and in local time approximately 3 months. Within 115 days, all local time sectors near the equator were covered. The satellite orientation was controlled using the magnetic field as a reference and was determined for the whole mission. After the satellite was stabilised, the variations from the ideal orientation were less than 15°. The variation of attitude with respect to the magnetic field was smooth, and the periodicities of the satellite axial variations (with respect to the nominal orientation) were 15-20 min. Since these periodicities are long, rapid particle flux variations which were observed were not caused by the variations in orientation.

Observations and Discussion

One of the modes of measurement with the SPE-1 provides 31-point energy spectra for each detector. These relatively detailed measurements are suitable for analysis of a spectrum's finer features. We were able to obtain energy spectra from energies as low as 18 keV. In this respect the measurement with the SPE-1 is different from other energetic electron measurements reported at low altitudes. In several passes near the equator at L=1.2-1.4, broad peaks are seen in these spectra. Figure 1 shows nine consecutive energy spectra from 19 to 118 keV measured at low L by detector 3. The local pitch angles varied smoothly from 73° to 96° from the first to the

Fig. 1. Differential energy spectra of electrons in the inner zone measured by detector 3 on November 11, 1989, in a mode with 31 energy channels. Of these the first 17 are displayed. L values are indicated for the corresponding curves. The lowest curve is labeled in {cm2 s sr keV)-1. Each successive curve, at higher L, is shifted upward by a factor of 500.

last spectrum measured. The spectra are obtained over a time period of approximately 40 s. When any one of the counters reaches 255 pulses, the counting in all detectors is stopped; thus snapshots of spectra are obtained. In the case described, the accumulation time for obtaining a spectrum is less than 2.5 s. Thus the spectra reflect the situation at a given point. The first spectrum in time, at highest L, L=1.381, corresponds to altitude 860 km and ratio B/B0=2.20. The spectrum at lowest L, L=1.213, is at an altitude of 1129 km and is close to the equator, B/B0=1.11. The satellite covers the longitude 268°-270°E in the time interval displayed.

The differential spectra are nonmonotonic. The most pronounced peak at 30 keV appears at L=1.338 and disappears at L=1.213. The second peak, at 60 keV, is apparent from L=1.276 and disappears at the lowest L, L=1.213, near the equator. A third smaller peak is seen at 90 keV.

Peaks in the spectrum of energetic electrons at low altitudes in the inner magnetosphere have been reported in several papers beginning with Imhof and Smith [1965], who found a single peak at 1.35 MeV. All the reported observations regarded altitudes below 300 km and generally with energies above 68 keV. There are two kinds of peaks in electron spectra at low L. The first is usually present as a single, clear, narrow peak which is attributed to cyclotron resonance between electrons and VLF waves of magnetospheric origin or communication transmitters. According to Datlowe and Imhof [1990], the resonance peaks at altitudes below 290 km are centered in selected longitude bands, while at higher altitudes the longitude interval of peak occurrence is wider. These types of peaks are well organized in energy

and L, and thus their resonance origin is established. The second type is multiple, broader peaks at low altitudes, reviewed by Datlowe et al. (1985). Their systematic study at 250 km has shown that multiple peaks are observed at all levels of geomagnetic activity at L=l.2-2.0 in the longitude range 270°-360°E near the edge of the loss cone. The overlapping of both types is possible.

The peaks reported here are similar in character to the second type mentioned above. If the peak formation is due to some resonance process with waves, the values of peak energy indirectly indicate different harmonics of such an interaction. The difference here is that particles measured by detector 3 have local pitch angles larger than 70, and for L<=1.3 they are detected well above 800 km; thus they belong neither to the population near the local loss cone nor to the population near the drift loss cone, and they are stably trapped during the whole period of azimuthal drift. For the second type of spectral peaks, the proposed mechanism is the drift loss resonance process described by Cladis [1966]. Originally, this mechanism was proposed to explain the monoenergetic groups of electrons at the higher energies, 1.35 and 0.75 MeV. The temporal variations of the equatorial electrojet, flowing at the equator with a width of 400-600 km from the morning sector toward the evening, can have the same time scale as the drift period of particles. The process is selective with respect to energy. For any given L the drift period is inversely proportional to the energy of the particle, and thus selective acceleration and redistribution of energy can produce the observed peaks. According to Cladis [1966] the energy gain per drift is 6 keV for 1.35 MeV. Our measurements show a pronounced peak at 30 keV. In a dipolar field at L-1.3, the drift period of such electrons is very long, 19.2 hours. To obtain efficient acceleration by Cladis' mechanism here, a very long coherence time, of the order of several days, is needed. This problem exists even at higher energies and shorter drift periods, as mentioned by Datlowe et al. [1985]. It should also be mentioned here that the drift period of 30-keV electrons at L-l.3 is comparable to the period of rotation of the Earth. Because of the eastward drift of electrons, their passage through the whole longitude interval takes several days. We propose that the observations reported here indicate that the drift resonance acceleration mechanism, at least for the 30-keV peak, is not viable. Recently, Pinto et al. [1991] presented the results of power spectral analysis of geomagnetic data from the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly. Usually, only statistically insignificant peaks in power spectra of pulsations are reported. From their study, there appears to be no evidence that peaks in the electron spectrum are caused by variations in the equatorial electrojet system. Thus, if the multiple spectral peaks at low energies reported here and at higher energies reported by Pinto et al. are of the same origin, the drift acceleration mechanism is not an appropriate explanation.


Measurements by the Active satellite in the inner radiation zone near the westward edge of the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly indicate the

existence of multiple broad peaks in the energy spectra of trapped electrons at 30, 60, and probably 90 keV at L<1.30. This extends the results reported earlier at lower altitudes and at higher energies. The peak at 30 keV indicates that the drift resonance acceleration mechanism proposed as a cause of the formation of these spectral peaks, at least for lower energies, is inappropriate because such formation requires coherence of magnetic field pulsations near the equator for long periods, such as several days.

Acknowledgments. The authors are grateful to J. Rojko for the Technical design and construction of the SPE-1 instrument and to s. Fischer, Astronomical Institute of Czech Academy of Science, for supplying silicon detectors. The work at IEP Kosice was supported by Slovak Academy of Science grant 37, and the work at Calgary was supported by NSERC grant 69-1565 to D. Venkatesan. The Editor thanks H. K. Rassoul and two other referees for their assistance in evaluating this paper.


Cladis, J. b., Resonance acceleration of

particles in the inner radiation belt, in ^ Radiation Trapped in the Earth's Magnetic Field, edited by B. M. McCormac, p. 112, D. Reidel, Hingham, Mass., 1966.

Datlowe, D. W., and W. L. Imhof, Cyclotron resonance precipitation of energetic_ electrons from the inner magnetosphere, J. Geophvs. Res., 95, 6477, 1990.

Datlowe, D. W., W. L. Imhof, E. E. Gaines, and H. D. Voss, Multiple peaks in the spectrum of inner belt electrons, J. Geophys. Res., 90, 8333, 1985.

Davidson, G. T., P, D. Filbert, R. W.

Nightingale, W. L. Imhof, J. B. Reagan, and E. C. Whipple, Observations of intense trapped electron fluxes at synchronous altitudes, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 77, 1988.

Imhof, W. L. , and B. V. Smith, Observation of

nearly monoenergetic high-energy electrons in the inner radiation belt, Phys, Rev. Lett., 14, 885, 1965.

Irahof, W. L., H. D. Voss, J. B. Reagan, D. H. Datlowe, E. E. Gaines, J. Mobilia, and D. S. Evans, Relativistic electron and energetic ion precipitation spikes near the plasmapause, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 3077, 1986.

Pinto, O., Jr., I. R. c. A. Pinto, w. D. Gonzales, and A. L. C. Gonzales, About the origin of peaks in the spectrum of inner radiation belt electrons, J. Geophys. Res. . 96., 1857, 1991-

Swift, D. W., and D. J. Gorney, Production of very energetic electrons in discrete aurora, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 2692, 1989.

O. S. Akentieva, T. V. Romantsova, and F. K. Shuiskaya, Space Research Institute, Academy of Sciences of USSR, Moscow 142 092, Russia.

K. Kudela and J. Matisin, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Experimental Physics, Kosice 043 53, Czechoslovakia.

D. Venkatesan, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.

(Received March 13, 1991; revised October 8, 1991; accepted January 7, 1992.)


Journal of geophysical research, vol. 97, No. A6, Pages 8681-8683, june , 1992 iconJournal of The British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 44, pp. 371-376,1991

Journal of geophysical research, vol. 97, No. A6, Pages 8681-8683, june , 1992 iconJournal of The British Interplanetary Society, Vol 43, pp. 265-272,1990

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