Radial dependence of ionization losses of protons of the Earth's radiation belts
Abstract. Coulomb losses and charge exchange of protons are considered in detail. On the basis of modern models of the plasmasphere and the exosphere, the radial dependences of the rates of ionization losses of protons, with μ from 0.3 to 10 keV nT−1, of the Earth's radiation belts near the equatorial plane are calculated for quiet periods. For calculation of Coulomb losses of protons we used data of ISEE-1 satellite (protons with energy from 24 to 2081 keV) on L from 3 to 9, data of Explorer-45 satellite (protons with energy from 78.6 to 872 keV) on L from 3 to 5 and data of CRRES satellite (protons with energy from 1 to 100 MeV) on L ≤ 3 (L is the McIlwain parameter). It is shown that with decreasing L the rate of ionization losses of protons of the radiation belts is reduced; for protons with μ > 1.2 keV nT−1 in a narrow region (ΔL ∼ 0.5) in the district of plasmapause in this dependence may form a local minimum of the rate. We found that the dependence from μ of the boundary on L between Coulomb losses and charge exchange of the trapped protons with hydrogen atoms is well approximated by the function Lb = 4.71μ0.32, where [μ] = keV nT−1. Coulomb losses dominate at L < Lb(μ), and at L > Lb(μ) dominates charge exchange of protons. We found the effect of subtracting the Coulomb losses from the charge exchange of protons of the radiation belts at low μ and L, which can simulate a local source of particles.