Trapped Particles and Waves, and What can be Learned from Multisatellite Experiments
Calculations concerning the pitch-angle diffusion resulting from resonant wave-particle interactions can lead to definitive predictions of equatorial pitch-angle distributions and rates of particle loss as a function of particle energy and L-value. Thus, given simultaneous high-altitude measurements of pitch-angle distributions and low-altitude measurements of precipitating fluxes as a function of energy and L, the importance of proposed wave-particle interactions can be verified or discarded. Since many wave-particle phenomena occur over large spatial and temporal scales, exact simultaneity in longitude and time is not necessary. Simultaneous low and high altitude (preferably nearly equatorial) particle measurements could thus greatly increase our understanding of trapped particles and their effects on the ionosphere. Furthermore, given a verified pitch-angle diffusion mechanism and simultaneous low- and high-altitude measurements, accurate low- to high-altitude mappings of field lines and magnetospheric boundaries (such as the plasmapause) could be obtained.
KeywordsPitch Angle Cyclotron Resonance Loss Cone Storm Main Phase Radiation Belt Electron
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