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