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Proton Flux Anisotropy in Low Earth Orbit

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4 Author(s)
Gregory P. Ginet ; Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Res. Lab., Hanscom AFB, MA ; Bronislaw K. Dichter ; Donald H. Brautigam ; Dan Madden

Proton flux anisotropy as a function of altitude in the South Atlantic Anomaly is investigated using data from the Compact Environment Anomaly Sensor (CEASE) flown onboard the tri-service experiment-5 (TSX-5) satellite from June 2000 to July 2006. In a 410 km times 1710 km, 69 degree inclination orbit, TSX-5 spanned a broad range of the low Earth orbit regime. Using measurements of total dose, integral energy flux >40 MeV and the differential flux at 40 MeV sorted into 3 degree latitude times 3 degree longitude times 50 km altitide bins and averaged over the entire mission, the components arising from eastward and westward traveling protons have been determined in areas of the SAA where CEASE detection efficiency is not compromised. For the first time, ratios of these components have been compared to predictions of east-west effect models above 400 km. There is good agreement in general with the anisotropy becoming apparent at approximately 1200 km (moving down) and increasing rapidly starting at approximately 1000 km, the magnitude and rate depending on location within the anomaly. Measurements of the differential flux at 40 MeV are compared to predictions of standard radiation belt models as a function of altitude and found to be substantially higher in magnitude than AP8, though a comprehensive survey has not yet been performed.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 6 )