27 Mar 2023
 | 27 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Comparison of radiation belts electron fluxes simultaneously measured with PROBA-V/EPT and RBSP/MagEIS instruments

Alexandre Winant, Viviane Pierrard, and Edith Botek

Abstract. Relativistic radiation belt electron observations from the Energetic Particle Telescope (EPT) onboard the PROBA-V satellite are compared to those performed by the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer (MagEIS) onboard the Van Allen Probes (VAPs) formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP). Despite their very different orbits, both instruments are able to measure fluxes of electrons trapped on a given magnetic shell. In the outer belt, the comparison of high and low altitude fluxes is performed during the first three months of 2014, featuring the most intense storms of the year. In the inner belt, measurements from the two instruments are compared only at conjunction, when the satellites are physically close to each other. Due to the low number of conjunctions, the whole period of mutual operation of both instrument is used (i.e. May 2013–October 2019). The comparisons show that flux variations appear simultaneously on both spacecraft, but the fluxes observed by the EPT are almost always lower than for MagEIS, as expected from their different orbits. In addition, this difference in flux intensity increases with electron energy. During geomagnetic storms, it is also shown that dropout events (i.e. sudden depletion of electrons) in the outer belt are more pronounced at low altitudes than near geomagnetic equator. The effect of the equatorial pitch angle value of electrons is investigated in the outer belt. The results show a good agreement between observations of the two instruments, especially if low pitch angle electrons near the equator are considered.

Alexandre Winant et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2023-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Apr 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Alexandre Winant, 21 May 2023
      • AC2: 'Reply on AC1', Alexandre Winant, 21 May 2023
        • RC2: 'Reply on AC2', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 May 2023
      • AC3: 'Reply on AC1', Alexandre Winant, 22 May 2023
        • RC3: 'Reply on AC3 (with recommendation for publication)', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 May 2023
          • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Alexandre Winant, 26 May 2023
            • RC4: 'Reply on AC4', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 May 2023
  • RC5: 'Comment on angeo-2023-8', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 May 2023

Alexandre Winant et al.

Alexandre Winant et al.


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Short summary
In this work, we analysed and compared measurements of electrons fluxes in the radiation belts from two instruments with different orbits. In the outer belt, where the altitude difference is the largest between the two instruments, we find that the observations are in good agreement, except during geomagnetic storms, during which fluxes at low altitudes are much lower than at high altitudes. In general, both at low and high altitude, the correlation between the instruments was found to be good.