Each RBSPICE instrument (one on each of two satellites) is a time-of-flight versus energy spectrometer. The spectrometer measures medium energy protons, electrons, and ions (H+, He+, and O+) as functions of energy and angle, as well as measurements of electrons, to be used for diagnostic purposes. Spacecraft rotation permits sampling over the full 160o range of look directions in three dimensions.
This data helps determine how space weather creates the storm-time ring current around Earth, how that ring current supplies and supports the creation of the radiation belt populations, and how it can also quickly reduce radiation belt particle intensities.
MISSION ELAPSED TIME
August 30, 2012, 4:05 a.m. EDT
August 29, 2014
NASA Probes Studying Earth's Radiation Belts to Celebrate Two Year Anniversary NASA's twin Van Allen Probes will celebrate on Saturday two years of studying the sun’s influence on our planet and near-Earth space.
April 24, 2014
Van Allen Probes Achieves Mission Success
On March 26, 2014, NASA declared the Van Allen Probes mission – launched in 2012, and designed to explore and unlock the mysteries of Earth’s radiation belts – an official success.
March 19, 2014
NASA Spacecraft Reveal New "Zebra Stripes" Structure in Earth's Inner Radiation Belt
Scientists have discovered a new, persistent structure in Earth’s inner radiation belt using data from the twin NASA Van Allen Probes spacecraft. Most surprisingly, this structure is produced by the slow rotation of Earth.
March 7, 2014
New NASA Van Allen Probes Observations Helping To Improve Space Weather Models
Using data from the Van Allen Probes, researchers have tested and improved a model to help forecast what's happening in the radiation environment of near-Earth space.
Nominal mission duration: 2 years
Region of Operations: Earth's radiation belts
Orbit: Elliptical orbits transversing the radiation belts
Science payload: 5 instrument suites conducting related experiments