This is a one-year effort to develop and deliver an instrument package consisting of a Flux Gate Magnetometer (FGM), an Energetic Particle Detector for Electrons (EPDE), and an Energetic Proton Detector for Ions (EPDI), which will be flown on the upcoming Moscow State University (MSU) satellite Lomonosov. The main scientific objective of this collaboration is to better understand the mechanisms responsible for scattering energetic particles into the atmosphere. The project will provide accurate measurements of the energy spectrum of precipitating electrons and ions that have not yet been accomplished by previous satellite missions. Lomonosov is planned to launch in late 2011 into a low-Earth, near-polar orbit, which is ideal for observing electrons and ions precipitating into the atmosphere.
The near-Earth measurements from the project will complement measurements of trapped radiation belt particles near the Equator from existing and upcoming missions, such as the NASA Radiation Belt Storms Probe mission. Together these measurements will help quantify the dominant particle acceleration and loss mechanisms, which determines the dynamical evolution of the radiation belts. The measurements will also be used to quantify losses for global predictive models of the near-Earth radiation environment. Knowledge of particle precipitation rates to the atmosphere will help advance the understanding of X-ray bursts frequently observed by balloon-borne instruments, which are thought to be associated with relativistic electron precipitation.
Student training both at MSU and UCLA is an important aspect of the project. UCLA students will be involved in the fabrication, testing, and calibration of the particle and field package to be provided. This collaboration with MSU allows for an in-flight test on new instruments and hardware that are expected to be highly beneficial to future NSF and NASA missions.
ELFIN-L (Electron Loss and Fields Investigator for Lomonosov) instrument suit is a joint project of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and the Department of Earth and Space Sciences (IGPP/ ESS)at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (SINP MSU). The instrument suit consists of a Flux Gate Magnetometer (FGM), an Energetic Particle Detector for Electrons (EPDE), and an Energetic Proton Detector for Ions (EPDI). Co-I Prof. Christopher Russell lead the development of the FGM, while Co-I Vassilis Angelopoulos lead the development of the EPDE and the EPDI. ELFIN-Lis funded by the National Science Foundation and the Internal Research and Development programs at UCLA and MSU. ELFIN-L instruments will be flown on Lomonosov spacecraft. The main scientific objective of the UCLA-MSU collaboration is to understand the dominant mechanism of loss of energetic electrons and ions in the near-Earth space environment. Energetic particles create a hazardous environment for satellites and humans in space and occasionally cause satellite failures. Lomonosov planned for launch for June 2012, is well timed with respect to NASA's upcoming Radiation Belt Storms Probe (RBSP) mission. In conjunction with the two RBSP satellites as well as the three Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft already in orbit measuring trapped radiation belt particles near the equator, Lomonosov will help scientists understand the physical processes responsible for the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth radiation environment. ELFIN-L measurements will also be used to quantify losses for global predictive models of the near-Earth radiation environment. Knowledge of particle precipitation rates to the atmosphere will help us understand the X-ray bursts frequently observed by balloon-borne instruments, which are thought to be associated with relativistic electron precipitation. Similar loss processes may occur in the magnetospheres of the outer planets, on the Sun, and at other astrophysical objects. Results and deliverables 1) We have delivered our instruments to the Moscow State University (MSU). Due to the change of the launch vehicle, the launch is now scheduled for June 2012. 2) A number of undergraduate and graduate students received training during this project: Bernal, Ivan; Boggeri, Andrew; Brown, Adam; Converano, Ryan; Donkongkakul, Ben; Hawley-Snow, Colin; Lawson, Mike; Lee Justin; Patel, Aadit; Smolke, Jennifer; Wei, Xin. Students have worked on building and assembling mechanical and electrical components. Two students have been involved in software development. 3) We have developed the instrumentation infrastructure, formed collaborative ties with MSU, and signed a memorandum of understanding between UCLA and MSU. 4) We have developed a web site to explain the scientific objectives of our project to the general public. Our scientific objectives have been discussed at a number of international conferences and colloquiums aimed at the general public. www.elfin-lomo.igpp.ucla.edu 5) We have purchased and set up a data server. Data will be open and will be made available to the community. The data will be made available through TDAS data analysis software and the cdf files will also be provided to the broader scientific community on our web page at www.elfin-lomo.igpp.ucla.edu. Invited presentations: Shprits, Y. Y., "Origin of killer electrons in the Earth radiation belts", ENS, Paris, France, May 2010. Shprits, Y. Y., "Loses and Sources of Relativistic Electrons in the Earth Radiation Belts", UNIVERSAT/LRT workshop, Moscow, Russia, June 2010. Shprits, Y.Y., "Combining models and observations to understand the dynamical evolution of the radiation belts", 38th COSPAR Scientificc Assembly, Bremen, Germany, July 2010. Shprits, Y.Y., "Profound Intensifications of the Earth Radiation Belts", La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 2010. Shprits, Y.Y., "Dramatic Intensification of the near-Earth Radiation Environment During Solar Superstorms", IGPP, UCLA, Los Angeles, December 2010. Shprits, Y.Y., "How does the seed population make a difference?", ISSI meeting, The Earth's Radiation Belts: Physical Processes and Dynamic Modeling, Bern, Switzerland, 8-11 Feb 2011. Shprits, Y.Y., D.A. Subbotin, K. C. Kim, B. Ni, "Versatile Electron Radiation Belt Code", ISSI meeting, The Earth's Radiation Belts: Physical Processes and Dynamic Modeling, Bern, Switzerland, 8-11 Feb 2011. Shprits, Y. Y., "Origin of Trapped Radiation in the Near Earth Environment", Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists Lecture, Vienna, Austria, 3-8 April 2011. Shprits, Y. Y. , Modeling Dynamical Evolution of the Earthâ€™s Radiation Belts, ESLAB 2011/ Cluster 21, Brugge, Belgium, September 2011. Turner D., Y. Y. Shprits, V. Angelopoulos ELFIN instruments, UNIVERSAT/LRT workshop, Moscow, Russia, December 2011.