Azimuthal ULF Structure and Radial Transport of Charged Particles

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Ashar Ali, University of Colorado at Boulder, 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. There is still much to be understood about the interaction between charged particles and ULF waves in the inner magnetosphere and how they influence particle diffusion. We investigate how ULF wave power distribution in azimuth affects radial diffusion of charged particles. Analytic treatments of the diffusion coefficients generally assume uniform distribution of power in azimuth but in situ measurements suggest otherwise. The power profiles obtained from in situ measurements will be used to conduct particle simulations to see how well do the simulated diffusion coefficients agree with diffusion coefficients estimated directly from in situ measurements. We also look at the ULF wave power distribution across different modes. In order to use in situ point measurements from spacecraft, it is typically assumed that all of the wave power exists in m=1 mode. How valid is this assumption? Do higher modes contain a major fraction of the total power? If yes, then under what conditions? One strategy is to use the obtained realistic azimuthal power profiles from in situ measurements (such as from the Van Allen Probes) to drive simulations and see how the power distributions across modes larger than one depends on parameters such as the level of geomagnetic activity.