CRRES observations of particle flux dropout events

J. Fennell*, J. Roeder, H. Spence, H. Singer, A. Korth, M. Grande, A. Vampola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complete disappearance of energetic electrons was observed by CRRES in the near geosynchronous region in 7.5% of the orbits examined. These total flux dropouts were defined by the fluxes rapidly dropping to levels below the sensitivity of the MEA energetic electron spectrometer on the CRRES satellite. They were separated into those that were only energetic electron dropouts and those that were associated with energetic ion and plasma dropouts. Approximately 20% of the events showed dropouts of all particle fluxes, and these were usually coincident with large increases in the local magnetic intensity and signatures of strong current systems. The energetic particle instruments and magnetometer on CRRES provide a detailed picture of the particle and field responses to these unusual conditions. Both the local morning and dusk events were associated with strong azimuthal (eastward) and radial changes in the magnetic field indicative of a strong current system approaching and sometimes crossing the CRRES position at the time of the flux dropouts. The direction of the field changes and the details of particle observations are consistent with CRRES passing through the plasma sheet boundary layer and entering the tail lobe for a significant number of the events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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