SDO Orbit Transitions and EVE Particle Data

published March 12, 2010

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EVE maps the Van Allen radiation Belt
(click for Youtube video)

The SDO spacecraft has spent most of its first few weeks since launch performing orbit maneuvers to transition from a very elliptical orbit (apogee of about 36,000 km and perigee of about 1,000 km) to its circular geosynchronous orbit (GEO).  During this transition to GEO, the Extreme ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) has had limited tests.  All is performing well so far, but we haven’t had opportunity to observe solar light yet.  However, EVE does detect energetic particles while at the lower altitudes.

A 3-minute movie of the SDO orbit transitions, along with EVE’s particle data, is available on YouTube.

These EVE data highlight where the energetic protons are in the inner Van Allen radiation belt.  The red dots indicate the highest concentration of protons (lower altitude), and the blue-violet dots represents very little detection of particles (higher altitude of GEO).  Thanks to Chris Jeppesen for creating this movie.

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