Science China Technological Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 623–632 | Cite as

Test particle simulation on the ion and electron zebra stripes and their time evolution in inner radiation belt

  • YongFu Wang
  • QiuGang Zong
  • XuZhi Zhou


During February 15–16, 2014, the energetic electron spectrogram for four successive inner radiation belt crossing show clearly the electron zebra structures and their time evolution which last for about 17 h. Unfortunately, the time of flight (TOF) in RBSPICE measurement is turned off below 3RE, and the ion measurement is contaminated by electrons. Thus in this study we studied the differences between the ion and electron zebra stripe structures and their time evolution using simple theory and test particle simulation, combining the electron measurement from RBSIPICE onboard Van Allen Probes. Theoretical analysis predicts that the ion zebra stripe structures should lie at a higher energy range than the corresponding electron zebra stripe structures due to that the directions of gradient B drift and corotation E×B drift are the same for electrons while opposite for ions. Test particle simulation with the dipole magnetic field and Volland-Stern electric field model have shown that the ion and electron zebra stripe structures could be produced by the convection electric field penetrating into the inner magnetosphere in this event, with their time evolution determined by total drift velocity that are different for ions and electrons. The predicted differences between the ion and electron zebra stripe structures are partially verified through observation. The ion zebra stripe structures could have potential influence to the ring current.


inner radiation belt ion zebra stripes energetic ions energetic electrons 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology, School of Physics, and Fusion Simulation CenterPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Space Physics and Applied TechnologyPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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