ISSI International Team
Credit: ESA/BAS

The Earth's Radiation Belts:
Physical Processes and Dynamic Modeling


The relativistic electron flux in the Earth's outer Van Allen radiation belt can change by up to five orders of magnitude on timescale of hours to a few days. These variations are driven by changes in the solar wind which couple through the magnetosphere and drive changes in the source of electrons, the transport mechanisms, the acceleration and loss processes. Recent results have shown the importance of electron acceleration by wave-particle interactions inside geosynchronous orbit, and the need for co-ordinated wave and particle data to test theories and models. There is now increasing interest in the USA, with the proposed Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission (to be launched in 2012), Europe with CLUSTER and Double Star, Canada with the Outer Radiation Belt Injection, Transport, Acceleration and Loss Satellite (ORBITALS), and Japan with the proposed small-satellite mission termed Energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) to understand the dynamic electron variability. There is also new interest in Europe under the umbrella of space weather forecasting and modeling applications. Several global radiation belt models are being developed world-wide, based on different approaches, to test theoretical models for radiation belt dynamics. This proposal brings together the major Groups in Europe, Canada, Japan and the USA working on these models to study the wave acceleration, transport and loss processes, and to test the theories against satellite data.

List of team members & their affiliation

  • Jay Albert, Air Force Research Laboratory, U.S.A.
  • Daniel Boscher, ONERA, France
  • Anthony Chan, Rice University, U.S.A.
  • Norma Crosby [Team Leader], BISA, Belgium
  • Mathias Cyamukungu, UCL/CSR, Belgium
  • Michael Denton, Lancaster University, U.K.
  • Scott Elkington, LASP/University of Colorado, U.S.A.
  • Reiner Friedel, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.A.
  • Natalia Ganushkina, FMI, Finland
  • Daniel Heynderickx, DH Consultancy, Belgium
  • Richard Horne [Science Lead], British Antarctic Survey, U.K.
  • Vania Jordanova, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.A.
  • Ian Mann, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Nigel Meredith, British Antarctic Survey, U.K
  • Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Nagoya University, Japan
  • Viviane Pierrard, BISA, Belgium
  • Geoff Reeves, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.A.
  • Ondrej Santolik, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Yuri Shprits, UCLA, U.S.A.
  • Richard Thorne, UCLA, U.S.A.
ISSI Meeting 2

Schedule of the project

  • Meeting 1: 8-11 February 2011, ISSI, Bern
  • Meeting 2: 18-22 March 2013, ISSI, Bern

LINKS [Restricted Access]:

Contact: N. Crosby, Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy [ norma.crosby AT ]
Last Modified: 1 May 2013.
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