Radial Diffusion Coefficients Using E and B Field Data from the Van Allen Probes: Comparison with the CRRES Study

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Ashar Ali, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, Scot Richard Elkington, Univ Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States and David Malaspina, University of Colorado, Boulder, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, CO, United States
The Van Allen radiation belts contain highly energetic particles which interact with a variety of plasma and MHD waves. Waves with frequencies in the ULF range are understood to play an important role in loss and acceleration of energetic particles. We are investigating the contributions from perturbations in both the magnetic and the electric fields in driving radial diffusion of charged particles and wish to probe two unanswered questions about ULF wave driven radial transport. First, how important are the fluctuations in the magnetic field compared with the fluctuations in the electric field in driving radial diffusion? Second, how does ULF wave power distribution in azimuth affect radial diffusion? Analytic treatments of the diffusion coefficients generally assume uniform distribution of power in azimuth but in situ measurements suggest otherwise. We present results from a study using the electric and magnetic field measurements from the Van Allen Probes to estimate the radial diffusion coefficients as a function of L and Kp. During the lifetime of the RBSP mission to date, there has been a dearth of solar activity. This compels us to consider Kp as the only time and activity dependent parameter instead of solar wind velocity and pressure.