J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 11, 2021
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||23 November 2021|
OMEP-EOR: A MeV proton flux specification model for electric orbit raising missions
ONERA/DPHY, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse 31055, France
2 Space Applications and Research Consultancy (SPARC), Athens, Greece
3 Department of Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 22 September 2021
Electric Orbit Raising (EOR) for telecommunication satellites significantly reduced on-board fuel mass at the price of extended transfer durations. These relatively long transfers, which usually span a few months, cross large spans of the radiation belts, resulting in significant exposure of the spacecraft to space radiations. Since they are not very populated, the radiation environment of intermediate regions of the radiation belts is less constrained than on popular orbits such as low Earth orbit or geostationary orbit in standard environment models. In particular, there is a need for more specific models for the MeV energy range proton fluxes, responsible for solar arrays degradations, and hence critical for EOR missions. ONERA has developed a specification model of proton fluxes dedicated for EOR missions as part of the ESA ARTES program. This model can estimate the average proton fluxes between 60 keV and 20 MeV on arbitrary trajectories on the typical duration of EOR transfers. A global statistical model of the radiation belts was extracted from the Van Allen Probes RBSPICE data. For regions with no or low sampling, simulation results from the Salammbô radiation belt model were used. Special care was taken to model the temporal dynamics of the belts on the considered mission durations. A Gaussian Process model was developed, allowing to compute the distribution of the average fluxes on arbitrary mission durations analytically. Satellites trajectories can be flown in the resulting global distribution, yielding the proton flux spectrum distribution as seen by the spacecraft. We show the results of the model on a typical EOR trajectory. The obtained fluxes are compared to the standard AP8 model, the AP9 model and validated using the THEMIS satellites data. We illustrate the expected effect on solar cell degradation, where our model shows an increase of up to 20% degradation prediction compared to AP8.
Key words: proton / radiation belts / electric orbit raising / environment specification / modelling
© A. Brunet et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://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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