Energetic Electron Environment Models for MEO



Welcome to the web site of the ESA/ESTEC project Energetic Electron Environment Models for MEO , Contract No.21403/08/NL/JD .

It has become obvious that the space environment is a highly aggressive medium. Indeed, beyond the natural protection provided by the Earth's atmosphere (magnetospheric shielding), various types of radiations can be encountered (electron, proton, solar proton, cosmic rays, ?). Their characteristics in terms of energy, nature, origins and distribution in space are extremely variable and highly depend on the spacecraft orbit.
Previously, European programs have been concerned mainly, by LEO and GEO environments. Now, with the new European navigation system (Galileo), efforts have to be concentrated on the study of the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) environment.
Traditionally, NASA AE8 model is used to predict electron fluxes. But, on the one hand, this static model is based on data collected in the 60's and 70's so new updated data have to be integrated and analysed, and on the other hand, more accurate models have to be developed to reduce margins of a necessarily reliable system for a commercial service.
The MEO orbit corresponds to a rather severe environment as for electrons it corresponds to the core of the outer belt. The environment is moreover extremely dynamic like at GEO, but with much higher flux levels for the whole spectrum. It means that at least all the effects damaging satellites at GEO are of great importance for MEO applications: dose, charging, backgrounds, etc? For these applications, a better knowledge of the electron environment is needed in order to decrease the margins and to anticipate in flight problems.

The main goal of this study is to produce new engineering models for electron environment taking into account the following goals:
Email to Project Manager:(Dr. D. Lazaro)
Email to ESA Technical officer: (Dr. P. Nieminen)
Email to Web site manager: (Dr. S. Bourdarie)
Last update: 11 February 2008