Empirical Model of the Pressure in the Earth’s Ring Current

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Thomas Sotirelis, Johns Hopkins Univ, Laurel, MD, United States, Matina Gkioulidou, JHU/APL, Laurel, MD, United States, Aleksandr Y Ukhorskiy, Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States and Elizabeth MacDonald, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Plasma in the inner magnetosphere produces the Earth’s ring current through its pressure. Changes in the plasma pressure dramatically effects the ring current, and the magnetic field which guides particle motion. Here, the pressure in the inner magnetosphere is empirically modeled using Van Allen Probes observations by the RBSPICE and ECT-HOPE instruments. The radial and local-time dependence of both the parallel and perpendicular components of plasma pressure are assessed and the contributions of Helium and Oxygen are measured. Correlation studies are used to further understand the causal roles played by various drivers. Simultaneous observations from the two Van Allen Probes permit an understanding of global versus local variations.