J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 8, 2018
Flares, coronal mass ejections and solar energetic particles and their space weather impacts
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||12 January 2018|
The detection of ultra-relativistic electrons in low Earth orbit
Royal Observatory of Belgium, Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence,
Avenue Circulaire 3,
2 Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence, Ringlaan 3, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
3 Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Centre for Space Radiations (CSR), Earth and Life Institute (ELI), Place Louis Pausteur 3, bte L4.03.08, B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 8 December 2017
Aims. To better understand the radiation environment in low Earth orbit (LEO), the analysis of in-situ observations of a variety of particles, at different atmospheric heights, and in a wide range of energies, is needed. Methods. We present an analysis of energetic particles, indirectly detected by the large yield radiometer (LYRA) instrument on board ESA's project for on-board autonomy 2 (PROBA2) satellite as background signal. Combining energetic particle telescope (EPT) observations with LYRA data for an overlapping period of time, we identified these particles as electrons with an energy range of 2 to 8 MeV. Results. The observed events are strongly correlated to geo-magnetic activity and appear even during modest disturbances. They are also well confined geographically within the L = 4–6 McIlwain zone, which makes it possible to identify their source. Conclusions. Although highly energetic particles are commonly perturbing data acquisition of space instruments, we show in this work that ultra-relativistic electrons with energies in the range of 2–8 MeV are detected only at high latitudes, while not present in the South Atlantic Anomaly region.
Key words: ionosphere / ultra-relativistic electrons / low Earth orbit / geostatic orbit / LYRA / PROBA2 / VLF/ELF waves / ECH waves / EMIC waves / microbursts / monoenergetic electrons
© A.C. Katsiyannis et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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