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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 34, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 34, 133–141, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-133-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 34, 133–141, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-133-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 27 Jan 2016

Regular paper | 27 Jan 2016

Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

J. Köhler1, R. F. Wimmer-Schweingruber1, J. Appel1, B. Ehresmann2, C. Zeitlin6,a, D. M. Hassler2, G. Reitz3, D. E. Brinza5, S. Böttcher1, E. Böhm1, S. Burmeister1, J. Guo1, A.-M. Harri7, H. Kahanpää7,8, J. Krauss1, H. Lohf1, C. Martin1, D. Matthiä3, A. Posner4, and S. Rafkin2 J. Köhler et al.
  • 1Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany
  • 2Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany
  • 4NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Washington DC, USA
  • 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 6Southwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans & Space Department, Durham, NH, USA
  • 7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 8Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
  • anow at: Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements. We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

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Short summary
The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. In this work we compare predicted electron/positron spectra with the signal measured by RAD. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics.
The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover...
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