The Radiation Environment Impacting DSX Orbit Options
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB HANSCOM AFB MA SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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The Air Force Research Laboratory plans to a fly the Demonstrations and Science Experiment DSX in a medium Earth orbit MEO to study wave-particle interaction in the Very Low Frequency VLF regime, and b map the energetic particle and plasma environment in the middle magnetosphere. Since the initial DSX planning, interest has surfaced in mapping the energetic particle environment of the inner belt inside the MEO regime. The question arises whether the DSX orbit could be modified to accomplish sufficient inner-belt mapping without compromising the primary DSX science missions. It is concluded that the optimum orbit to map the L, BBO region relevant to the inner belt orbits while maintaining the capability of DSX to map and carry out experiments in the slot region is a 540 x 12000km orbit with 28 degrees or less of inclination. The energetic electrons in the horns of the outer belt will be missed however, this population has been much better characterized by existing data sets than have the populations in the inner magnetosphere. Doses for the recommended orbit are approximately an order of magnitude higher than for the nominal DSX orbit, but lower by a factor of approximately two than the worst inner belt orbit considered.
- Atmospheric Physics