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Study of Galactic Cosmic-Ray Flux Modulation by Interplanetary Plasma Structures for the Evaluation of Space Instrument Performance and Space Weather Science Investigations

1
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Via S. Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino, Italy
2
National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Section in Florence, Via B. Rossi 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
3
National Institute for Astrophysics, Astrophysical Observatory of Turin, Via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120749
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
The role of high-energy particles in limiting the performance of on-board instruments was studied for the European Space Agency (ESA) Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder (LPF) and ESA/National Astronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter missions. Particle detectors (PD) placed on board the LPF spacecraft allowed for testing the reliability of pre-launch predictions of galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) energy spectra and for studying the modulation of proton and helium overall flux above 70 MeV n 1 on a day-by-day basis. GCR flux variations up to approximately 15% in less than a month were observed with LPF orbiting around the Lagrange point L1 between 2016 and 2017. These variations appeared barely detected or undetected in neutron monitors. In this work the LPF data and contemporaneous observations carried out with the magnetic spectrometer AMS-02 experiment are considered to show the effects of GCR flux short-term variations with respect to monthly averaged measurements. Moreover, it is shown that subsequent large-scale interplanetary structures cause a continuous modulation of GCR fluxes. As a result, small Forbush decreases cannot be considered good proxies for the transit of interplanetary coronal mass ejections and for geomagnetic storm forecasting. View Full-Text
Keywords: cosmic rays; instrumentation: interferometers; interplanetary medium; solar-terrestrial relations; Sun; heliosphere cosmic rays; instrumentation: interferometers; interplanetary medium; solar-terrestrial relations; Sun; heliosphere
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Grimani, C.; Telloni, D.; Benella, S.; Cesarini, A.; Fabi, M.; Villani, M. Study of Galactic Cosmic-Ray Flux Modulation by Interplanetary Plasma Structures for the Evaluation of Space Instrument Performance and Space Weather Science Investigations. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 749.

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