Comparisons of high latitude E > 20 MeV proton geomagnetic cutoff observations with predictions of the SEPTR model
- 1Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts 01731, USA
- 2Radex Corporation, 3 Preston Court, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730, USA
- Correspondence to: S. Kahler
Abstract. Radiation effects from solar energetic proton (SEP) events are a concern when the International Space Station reaches high latitudes accessible to SEPs. We use data from the 20–29 and 29–64 MeV proton channels of the Proton/Electron Telescope on the SAMPEX satellite during nine large SEP events to determine the experimental geographic cutoff latitudes for the two energy ranges. These are compared with calculated cutoff latitudes based on a computer model, SEPTR (solar energetic particle tracer). The observed cutoff latitudes are systematically equatorward of the latitudes calculated by the SEPTR program using a Tsyganenko field model, but that model produces mean values of ~ 2° for latitudinal differences with observations, DLat, which are ~ 3 times smaller than those using the 1995 International Geomagnetic Reference Field model alone. The number distributions of DLat are peaked near 0° and decline toward higher values. With the Tsyganenko model, we find no significant trend in either the DLat or their variances with increasing Kp .
Key words. Interplanetary physics (energetic particles) – Magnetospheric physics (polar cap phenomena) – Space plasma physics (charged particle motion and acceleration)