The Importance of Adiabatic Variations in Trapped Particle Distribution Observed by the SCATHA Satellite
Interim scientific rept. Mar 1987-Feb 1989
AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND HANSCOM AFB MA GEOPHYSICS LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Fluxes of trapped 20 keV-1 MeV electrons and ions observed by SCATHA from 5 to 8 R sub E are analyzed for a magnetically quiet and subsequent disturbed period to determine the contribution adiabatic variations make to the observed large variations. The magnetic field is modeled by a dipole distorted by the sum of an azimuthally symmetric and an asymmetric perturbation, which perturbations are empirically determined functions of time. Distribution functions for the disturbed period are predicted from those observed in the quiet period, assuming conservation of the three adiabatic invariants for magnetically trapped particles. The disturbance discussed here is observed during the ascending portion of the SCATHA orbit. The disturbance is first encountered when SCATHA crosses L6.2R sub E, MLT2140. It is characterized by a systematic weakening in the plasma sheet magnetic field and concurrent dropouts in the 90 deg. pitch angle high energy electron and ion fluxes. The electron fluxes and the magnetic field remain low for the remainder of this ascending leg, but the ion fluxes recover somewhat for L7R sub E. The IMF B sub z is small but steadily northward for over 24 hours preceding this period. The solar wind velocity decreases at a slow rate before and during this period, while the solar wind ion density is steadily increasing. For magnetic field decompression, the theory based on conservation of the adiabatic invariants predicts deceleration of equatorially mirroring particles, causing reduction in the fluxes observed at a given energy similar to those seen in the early phase of this event.
- Atmospheric Physics