Radiation belt modelling in the framework of space weather effects and forecasting
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The Earth's trapped radiation belts were discovered at the beginning of the space age and were immediately recognised as a considerable hazard to space missions. Consequently, considerable effort was invested in building models of the trapped proton and electron populations, culminating in the NASA AP-8 and AE-8 models which have been de facto standards since the 1970s. The CRRES mission has demonstrated that the trapped radiation environment is much more complex than the static environment described by the old models. Spatial and especially temporal variations were shown to be much more important than previously thought, and to require more complex models than those in use at that time. Such models are now becoming available, but they are as yet limited in spatial and temporal coverage. It is vital to coordinate future modelling efforts in order to develop new standard models. The lack of standardisation of radiation belt models complicates their use in engineering applications where particle fluxes are needed as input to radiation effects models. ESA's SPace ENVironment Information System (SPENVIS) provides standardised access to models of the hazardous space environment, including but not limited to radiation effects, through a user-friendly World Wide Web interface. The interface includes parameter input with extensive defaulting, definition of user environments, streamlined production of results (both in graphical and textual form), background information, and on-line help. The system can be accessed at the WWW site http://www.spenvis.oma.be/spenvis/. SPENVIS Is designed to help spacecraft engineers perform rapid analyses of environmental problems and, with extensive documentation and tutorial information, allows engineers with relatively little familiarity to produce reliable results. It has been developed in response to the increasing pressure for rapid-response tools for system engineering, especially in low-cost commercial and educational programmes.
CitationHeynderickx, D. (2002). Radiation belt modelling in the framework of space weather effects and forecasting. , Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Vol. 64, Issue 16, 1687-1700, DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6826(02)00119-0.