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Title: Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission

Abstract

Here, we present multipoint observations of earthward moving dipolarization fronts and energetic particle injections from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission with a focus on electron acceleration. From a case study during a substorm on 02 August 2015, we find that electrons are only accelerated over a finite energy range, from a lower energy threshold at ~7–9 keV up to an upper energy cutoff in the hundreds of keV range. At energies lower than the threshold energy, electron fluxes decrease, potentially due to precipitation by strong parallel electrostatic wavefields or initial sources in the lobes. Electrons at energies higher than the threshold are accelerated cumulatively by a series of impulsive magnetic dipolarization events. This case demonstrates how the upper energy cutoff increases, in this case from ~130 keV to >500 keV, with each dipolarization/injection during sustained activity. We also present a simple model accounting for these energy limits that reveals that electron energization is dominated by betatron acceleration.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [5];  [5];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8];  [8] more »;  [8];  [8];  [8];  [9];  [9];  [10] « less
  1. The Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA (United States)
  2. Johns Hopkins Univ., Laurel, MD (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  5. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  6. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States); Denali Scientific, Healy, AK (United States)
  7. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz (Austria)
  8. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  9. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  10. Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1340970
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-23139
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; heliospheric and magnetospheric physics

Citation Formats

Turner, Drew Lawson, Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Clemmons, J. H., Mauk, B. H., Cohen, I. J., Jaynes, A. N., Craft, J. V., Wilder, F. D., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Gershman, D. J., Avanov, L. A., Dorelli, J. C., Giles, B. L., Pollock, C. J., Schmid, D., Nakamura, R., Strangeway, R. J., Russell, C. T., Artemyev, A. V., Runov, A., Angelopoulos, V., Spence, H. E., Torbert, R. B., and Burch, J. L.. Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2016GL069691.
Turner, Drew Lawson, Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Clemmons, J. H., Mauk, B. H., Cohen, I. J., Jaynes, A. N., Craft, J. V., Wilder, F. D., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Gershman, D. J., Avanov, L. A., Dorelli, J. C., Giles, B. L., Pollock, C. J., Schmid, D., Nakamura, R., Strangeway, R. J., Russell, C. T., Artemyev, A. V., Runov, A., Angelopoulos, V., Spence, H. E., Torbert, R. B., & Burch, J. L.. Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL069691.
Turner, Drew Lawson, Fennell, J. F., Blake, J. B., Clemmons, J. H., Mauk, B. H., Cohen, I. J., Jaynes, A. N., Craft, J. V., Wilder, F. D., Baker, D. N., Reeves, Geoffrey D., Gershman, D. J., Avanov, L. A., Dorelli, J. C., Giles, B. L., Pollock, C. J., Schmid, D., Nakamura, R., Strangeway, R. J., Russell, C. T., Artemyev, A. V., Runov, A., Angelopoulos, V., Spence, H. E., Torbert, R. B., and Burch, J. L.. 2016. "Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission". United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL069691. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340970.
@article{osti_1340970,
title = {Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission},
author = {Turner, Drew Lawson and Fennell, J. F. and Blake, J. B. and Clemmons, J. H. and Mauk, B. H. and Cohen, I. J. and Jaynes, A. N. and Craft, J. V. and Wilder, F. D. and Baker, D. N. and Reeves, Geoffrey D. and Gershman, D. J. and Avanov, L. A. and Dorelli, J. C. and Giles, B. L. and Pollock, C. J. and Schmid, D. and Nakamura, R. and Strangeway, R. J. and Russell, C. T. and Artemyev, A. V. and Runov, A. and Angelopoulos, V. and Spence, H. E. and Torbert, R. B. and Burch, J. L.},
abstractNote = {Here, we present multipoint observations of earthward moving dipolarization fronts and energetic particle injections from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission with a focus on electron acceleration. From a case study during a substorm on 02 August 2015, we find that electrons are only accelerated over a finite energy range, from a lower energy threshold at ~7–9 keV up to an upper energy cutoff in the hundreds of keV range. At energies lower than the threshold energy, electron fluxes decrease, potentially due to precipitation by strong parallel electrostatic wavefields or initial sources in the lobes. Electrons at energies higher than the threshold are accelerated cumulatively by a series of impulsive magnetic dipolarization events. This case demonstrates how the upper energy cutoff increases, in this case from ~130 keV to >500 keV, with each dipolarization/injection during sustained activity. We also present a simple model accounting for these energy limits that reveals that electron energization is dominated by betatron acceleration.},
doi = {10.1002/2016GL069691},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 15,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

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  • We report our findings comparing the geometric factor (GF) as determined from simulations and laboratory measurements of the new Dual Electron Spectrometer (DES) being developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as part of the Fast Plasma Investigation on NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission. Particle simulations are increasingly playing an essential role in the design and calibration of electrostatic analyzers, facilitating the identification and mitigation of the many sources of systematic error present in laboratory calibration. While equations for laboratory measurement of the GF have been described in the literature, these are not directly applicable to simulation since the two aremore » carried out under substantially different assumptions and conditions, making direct comparison very challenging. Starting from first principles, we derive generalized expressions for the determination of the GF in simulation and laboratory, and discuss how we have estimated errors in both cases. Finally, we apply these equations to the new DES instrument and show that the results agree within errors. Thus we show that the techniques presented here will produce consistent results between laboratory and simulation, and present the first description of the performance of the new DES instrument in the literature.« less
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