Collaborative Research Centres (SFB) 1294 Data Assimilation

(GFZ Potsdam)

Novel methods for the 3D reconstruction of the dynamic evolution of the Van Allen belts using multiple satellite measurements.

In this project, we combine state-of-the-art partial differential equation-based models of the inner magnetosphere Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB-3D) with newly developed data assimilation methods to reconstruct the dynamics of the inner magnetospheric radiation, utilizing observations from various orbits. We explore the applicability of the developed methodology to the modeling of the variations of the thermal energy plasma environment in the ionosphere and plasmasphere. We also explore how the observations from the operating Swarm mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) can be used to correct imperfect models of plasma density.

Project Duration

Feb 2017 – Jan 2021


DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association)

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Yuri Shprits (GFZ, Section 2.8 Magnetospheric Physics; University of Potsdam, Institute of Physics and Astronomy).

Prof. Dr. Claudia Stolle (GFZ, Section 2.3 Geomagnetism; University of Potsdam, Institute of Mathematics).

Project Website


University of Potsdam; Humboldt University Berlin; Technical University Berlin; Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences; Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology; Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, Leibniz Institute in Forschungsverbund Berlin.

Methods and Equipment

The Versatile Electron Radiation Belt Code; Kalman filter; data assimilation. Internal GFZ computing servers.


Aseev, N. A., Shprits, Y. Y., Drozdov, A. Y., Kellerman, A. C., Usanova, M. E., Wang, D., & Zhelavskaya, I. S. (2017). Signatures of ultrarelativistic electron loss in the heart of the outer radiation belt measured by Van Allen Probes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122.

Yuri Shprits
Prof. Dr. Yuri Shprits
Space Physics and Space Weather
Albert-Einstein-Straße 42-46
Building A 42, Room 202/203
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28899
Claudia Stolle
Prof. Dr. Claudia Stolle
Albert-Einstein-Straße 42-46
Building A 42, Room 227
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1230