Energetic and magnetosheath energy particle signatures of the low-latitude boundary layer at low altitudes near noon
- Roeder, J. L.
- Nov 15, 1992.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Lyons, L. R.
- hdl.handle.net , Connect to this object online.
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- The low-latitude boundary layer (LBL) and its separation from the cusp have previously been identified using observations of particle precipitation at magnetosheath energies. Using S3-3 satellite observations, we have determined that these identifications can also be made from energetic particle observations on polar-orbiting satellites. It is found that the equatorward boundary of the LBL is identifiable as an approximately discontinuous decrease in 33-keV electron fluxes from low to high latitudes. Both the energetic ion and electron fluxes decrease discontinuously at the boundary between the LBL and the cusp or polar cap. A distinct LBL is nearly always identifiable in energetic particle measurements in the 10-14 MLT region when counting rates are statistically significant. The identifications obtained using the energetic particle measurements have been compared to those obtained using criteria developed by Newell and Meng (1988, 1989) for magnetosheath energy particle precipitation. In this way, we have evaluated the accuracy of both techniques and used the energetic particle measurements to supplement the identifications obtained using the Newell and Meng criteria. We propose that the Newell and Meng threshold on ion energy flux can be reduced by a factor of 6. This modification provides identification of the LBL for lower ion intensity levels than has previously been thought possible. Source, acceleration, and scattering processes have also been studied within and in the vicinity of the LBL. Observed trapped pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons imply that the LBL is at least partially on closed field lines. Strong scattering of energetic protons is found within and equatorward of the LBL and thus must occur at least partially along closed field lines. Field-aligned electron acceleration by parallel electric fields can be discerned within and poleward of the LBL, but a more detailed analysis is necessary for a statistical study. Conical ion acceleration was seen relatively frequently within the LBL and about half as often poleward of the LBL. Neither acceleration process could be identified anywhere equatorward of the LBL.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19930006385.
Accession ID: 93N15574.
- No Copyright.
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