In this study, we compare long-term simulations performed by the Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB) code with observations from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer and Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescope instruments on the Van Allen Probes satellites. The model takes into account radial, energy, pitch angle and mixed diffusion, losses into the atmosphere, and magnetopause shadowing. We consider the energetic (>100 keV), relativistic (~0.5–1 MeV), and ultrarelativistic (>2 MeV) electrons. One year of relativistic electron measurements (μ = 700 MeV/G) from 1 October 2012 to 1 October 2013 are well reproduced by the simulation during varying levels of geomagnetic activity. However, for ultrarelativistic energies (μ = 3500 MeV/G), the VERB code simulation overestimates electron fluxes and phase space density. These results indicate that an additional loss mechanism is operational and efficient for these high energies. The most likely mechanism for explaining the observed loss at ultrarelativistic energies is scattering by the electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
American Geophysical Union Publications
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Drozdov, A. Y., Y. Y. Shprits, K. G. Orlova, A. C. Kellerman, D. A. Subbotin, D. N. Baker, H. E. Spence, and G. D. Reeves (2015), Energetic, relativistic, and ultrarelativistic electrons: Comparison of long-term VERB code simulations with Van Allen Probes measurements, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120, 3574–3587, doi:10.1002/ 2014JA020637