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Academic Lecture: How would a 60-year-old mystery in space physics be resolved

Author:Administrator Source:website Time:2018-02-02 09:53:34

Topic : How would a 60-year-old mystery in space physics be resolved, based on a student CubeSat (CSSWE) measurement?
Speaker : LI, Xinlin  
Professor at University of Colorado Boulder
Time : 3:30pm   Monday, February 5,2018
Place : 303 Conference Room in Electronic and Information School


  Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) CubeSat was launched on September 13th, 2012, operated more than two years and has been a tremendous success in Education, Engineering and Science. More than 65 students have involved with this project, working diligently with mentoring and supervision from experienced LASP engineers. Five Ph.D. dissertations are closely related to this mission, and there have been 21 peer-reviewed papers associated with CSSWE published, with about one-third of these engineering research papers and two-thirds science research papers. Most recently, we have resolved a 60-year-old mystery regarding the source population of inner radiation belt electrons solely based on the measurements of Relativistic Electron and Proton Telescope integrated little experiment (REPTile), the sole science payload onboard. The results were published in Nature in December 2017 [1], leading to a wealth of media, national and international, coverage.
      In this presentation, I will review the engineering endeavor leading to the completion of CubeSat systems and describe the data analysis effort leading to the most recent publication in Nature, in which we show direct measurements of relativistic electrons near the inner edge of the inner radiation belt and demonstrate, for the first time, that the main source of these electrons is cosmic-ray albedo neutron decay (CRAND), and that this CRAND process also contributes to electrons elsewhere in the inner magnetosphere.

[1] Li, Xinlin, Richard Selesnick, Quintin Schiller, Kun Zhang, Hong Zhao, Daniel Baker, and Michael Temerin (2017), Measurement of electrons from albedo neutron decay and neutron density in near-Earth space, Nature,552, 382-385, doi:10.1038/nature24642.

About the speaker:

  Professor Li's principal research interests are studies of solar wind energy coupling into Earth's magnetosphere and of energetic particle dynamics in the magnetosphere. His current research includes analysis and interpretation of particle and field data from satellites and ground stations, energetic particle instrument development, modeling and simulation of energetic particle transport associated with magnetic storms and substorms, and prediction and real-time forecast of MeV electrons and the Dst, AL, AU, and AE indices. His teaching activities include aerospace environment, space dynamics, thermodynamics, and space-flight hardware design. Recently, he was awarded a CubeSat project from NSF and has been leading a group of graduate students as they design, build, calibrate, and test the CubeSat system, which was delivered on 1/9/2012, launched on 9/13/2012, operated for more than two years.