The Energetic Particle Telescope: First Results
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The Energetic Particle Telescope (EPT) is a new compact and modular ionizing particle spectrometer that was launched on 7 May 2013 to a LEO polar orbit at an altitude of 820 km onboard the ESA satellite PROBA-V. First results show electron, proton and helium ion fluxes in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) and at high latitudes, with high flux increases during SEP (Solar Energetic Particles) events and geomagnetic storms. These observations help to improve the understanding of generation and loss processes associated to the Van Allen radiation belts.
KeywordsVan Allen belts Space radiations Spectrometer South Atlantic Anomaly Solar Energetic Particle events
V. Pierrard and the Space Physics Department of BISA thank the Belgian Science Policy—Space Research and Applications (Belspo) for the supplementary researcher program entitled “Scientific analysis of EPT (Energetic Particle Telescope) measurements”. The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement n°263340 SWIFF (www.swiff.eu) and was subsidized by the Scientific Federal Policy in the framework of the program Interuniversity Attraction Pole for the project P7/08 CHARM.
The development of the EPT instrument was realized with the support of the Belspo and of the European Space Agency (ESA) (contracts 20294/06/NL/JD (Phase A/B) and 22582/09/NL/AT (Phase C/D)). The design of the EPT instrument and its integration on the PROBA-V satellite results from a fruitful Consortium between the Université Catholique de Louvain, the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and QinetiQ Space. The B.USOC and the control center in Redu provide data transmission and storage. The authors thank all the scientists who temporarily participated to the development of the EPT instrument and its integration on PROBA-V satellite, as well as the administrative teams of the different institutes. The CSR team also thanks Belspo for supporting the “PROBA-V/EPT – Data Exploitation” project via the PRODEX program under ESA contract C4000107617) and for the PRODEX-7 (N° 90098+ CCN-1/C 90098). They also thank G. Tabordon, L. Kruijfthooft, C. Thielens, B. de Callatay and the radioprotection and cyclotron teams. EPT data can be consulted on the website http://web.csr.ucl.ac.be/csr_web/probav/index.html.
The authors thank the reviewers for their suggestions to improve the manuscript, especially for the comparisons with Van Allen Probes. The authors thank also Drs S. Bourdarie and V. Maget from ONERA in Toulouse (France) for providing the observations of SAC-D and POES that were used for comparisons with EPT measurements and for many useful discussions to improve the analysis of the data.
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