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The LANL* Project


LANL*: Radiation Belt Drift Shell Modeling

to obtain L* values quickly and accurately for real-time and reanalysis applications

We describe here a new method for calculating the magnetic drift invariant, L* (pronounced L-star), that is used for modeling radiation belt dynamics and for other space weather applications. Typically, a single L* calculation can require on the order of 105 calls to a magnetic field model and each point in the simulation domain and each calculated pitch angle has a different value of L*. We describe here the development and validation of a neural network surrogate model for calculating L* in sophisticated geomagnetic field models with a high degree of fidelity at computational speeds that are millions of times faster than direct numerical field line mapping and integration. This new surrogate model has applications to real-time radiation belt forecasting, analysis of data sets involving tens of satellite-years of observations, and other problems in space weather.

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