Radiation Belt Dynamics Viewed Through Multi-Mission Observations

Speaker: Frances Staples
Institution: UCLA AOS
Location: 7124A
Date: October 4, 2023
Time: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm


Frances Staples, UCLA Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
The Van Allen radiation belts are highly dynamic regions of relativistic particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field. A delicate balance between particle acceleration and loss mechanisms results in the waxing and waning of radiation belt flux. Spacecraft located in the radiation belts, such as telecommunications, navigational, and defense satellites, are vulnerable to the damage which radiation can cause. As well as satellite design, forecasting radiation flux plays a crucial part in protecting this space-based infrastructure. However, forecasting capabilities are limited by our understanding of this extremely complex region. This seminar will discuss how observations of the kinematical state of radiation belt electrons through multi-mission data reveals telltale signatures of acceleration and loss processes required to resolve physical processes occurring in the radiation belt.