Space Weather: Needs and Users - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

View by Category
About This Presentation

Space Weather: Needs and Users


Space Weather ... Space weather for the next 24 hours is expected to be extreme. ... The extreme magnitude and speed of the event led the forecasters to examine the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:63
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 56
Provided by: dougb160
Learn more at:
Tags: needs | space | users | weather


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Space Weather: Needs and Users

Space Weather Needs and Users
  • D.A. Biesecker
  • NOAA/Space Environment Center

  • A quick, general, introduction to space weather
  • The 3 space weather scales
  • Wheres the biggest interest lately? Aviation
    and human space flight
  • Polar routes
  • Commercial human space flight
  • Moon and Mars
  • Some SEC and Space Weather Specifics
  • Product growth, tracking customers
  • Service Assessment
  • Lessons learned
  • How other research missions were incorporated
    into the forecast center
  • What SEC needs the most
  • The Big List
  • What we expect from SDO
  • Immediate impact longer term utility
  • Suggest a name for the GOES-R (and all future)
    SXI (it will be an EUV imager)
  • Due by 9am Friday

SEC and Space Weather Products Products and
NOAA Space Weather Scales
  • Similar to Hurricane and Tornado
  • intensity scales (1 thru 5)
  • Saffir-Simpson (1969)
  • Fujita scale (1971)
  • Three Categories
  • Geomagnetic Storms, G-scale
  • Caused by enhancements in Solar Wind
  • Ground-based magnetometer deviations
  • Solar Radiation Storms, S-scale
  • Caused by Particle Events
  • Energetic Proton Flux on GOES
  • Radio Blackouts, R-scale
  • Caused by Solar Flares
  • Solar X-Ray Flux on GOES

Geomagnetic Storms (G Scale)
  • Power systems widespread voltage control
    problems protective system problems transformer
    damage grid collapse and blackouts.
  • Spacecraft operations surface charging problems
    with orientation uplink/downlink problems
    satellite drag and tracking problems.
  • Other systems pipeline currents can reach
    hundreds of amps HF (high frequency) radio
    propagation may be impossible in many areas for
    one to two days satellite navigation may be
    degraded for days low-frequency radio navigation
    can be out for hours aurora.

Solar Radiation Storms (S Scale)
  • Biological Radiation hazard to astronauts
    (especially during EVA radiation exposure in
    commercial jets (mostly high latitudes)
  • Satellite operations satellites may be rendered
    useless memory impacts can cause loss of
    control serious noise in image data
    star-trackers unable to locate sources permanent
    damage to solar panels
  • Other systems complete, often prolonged (days)
    of blackout of HF (high frequency) communications
    in polar regions position errors make navigation
    operations extremely difficult

Solar Flare Radio Blackouts (R Scale)
  • High Frequency Radio mariners and aviators
    communication degraded or blacked out
  • Navigation low frequency signals used by
    mariners and aviators degraded or blacked out
    satellite navigation errors

SEC and Space Weather Products Products and
  • SEC produces 42 Alert products

Watches expected disturbances, events that
are forecast (i.e. The conditions are favorable
for occurrence) Warnings disturbances that are
imminent, likely, expected in the near future
with high probability Alerts observed
conditions meeting or exceeding thresholds Summar
ies report issued as storm thresholds
change/end- of-event
  • Lots of recent activity and focus on aviation
  • Workshops with FAA, Airline reps, dispatchers,
    and pilot and steward unions
  • Polar flights
  • Health issues
  • SEC visits to airline headquarters
  • Resulted in better understanding among all
  • SEC knows airline needs
  • Airlines more familiar with space weather
  • 1 new product
  • Including space tourism and VSE

Excerpts from a talk given by UAL representatives
  • Len Salinas
  • Manager QA Dispatch Operations
  • Chairman - Dispatch Safety Awareness Program
  • Eric Richardson
  • Aviation Meteorologist
  • February 23, 2004

UAL Operations USA to Hong Kong/China
  • Polar routes provide time savings and convenience
    to our customers
  • Note, other airlines, notably NWA also have
    significant presence in polar operations
  • UAL Changes over the last 8 years
  • Eight years ago - Fly through 2 cities and take
    all day
  • Today - Cooperation with multiple countries and
    agencies this can now be done in 16 hours, flying
    over the North Pole - Russia - China
  • Growth in number of flights
  • 1999 UAL operated 12 Polar demo flights
  • 2000 UAL operated 253 Polar flights
  • 2001 UAL operated 466 Polar flights
  • 2002 and 2003 UAL operated over 600 Polar flights

  • Aviation interests are significantly impacted
  • by solar radiation storms
  • Radiation storms create a communications
  • problem and a biological threat.

Polar flights departing from North America use
VHF (30-300 MHz) comm with Canadian ATCs. Flights
will continue using VHF with Arctic Radio, but
soon switch to HF (3 30 MHz). SATCOM is
considered a backup during polar flights, but it
is rarely available above 82 degrees north
  • If problems detected prior to departure, Russian
    Far East Route selected
  • If problem occurs before reaching the polar area,
    the flight is re-routed. This option likely
    results in an unplanned fuel stop typically
  • If the problem occurs after the aircraft has
    entered the area, the flight continues.

Polar Operations Support
  • Meteorology and Dispatch Joint Effort
  • Polar Package
  • Space Weather
  • Jointly determined that events S3 (gt1000 pfu gt10
    MeV) and greater are cause for concern
  • Flight planning begins 8 hours out
  • select 3 routes depending on weather, other

Space Weather Aviation Webpage
NOAA Scales Maximum in
past 24-hours Geomagnetic Storms
minor none Solar
Radiation Storms none
none Radio Blackouts
24 Hour Forecast Space weather for the next 24
hours is expected to be extreme. Geomagnetic
storms reaching the G5 level are expected. Solar
radiation storms reaching the S3 level are
expected. Radio blackouts reaching the R3 level
are expected.
Watches, Warnings, Alerts, and Summaries Issue
Time 2004 Feb 24 1713 UTC ALERT X-Ray Flux
exceeded M5 Threshold Reached 2004 Feb 24 1712
Radio Blackout Plot
Polar Plot
Selected Solar Activity Affected Polar Flights
  • Aug 16-17, 2001 New York and Chicago to Hong Kong
  • JFK and ORD to HKG flights operated on Polar 4
    (instead of Polar 2 and 3) both days. Average
    penalty of 30 minutes and 15,000 pounds of denied
  • Oct 19, 2003 UAL 801 New York to Tokyo
  • Flight time increased 34 minutes and 10,700
    pounds fuel added, with 7500 pounds cargo denied
  • Oct 19, 2003 UAL 851 Chicago to Beijing
  • Flight time increased 25 minutes and 7,600 pounds
    fuel added
  • Oct 24, 2003 UAL 895 Chicago to Hong Kong
  • Flight time increased 31 minutes and 8,300
    gallons fuel added and 9100 pounds cargo denied

(No Transcript)
Cost Impacts
  • Airlines tell us typical cost per flight due to
    space weather event is 10k-100k
  • March 30-April 21, 2001
  • UAL had 25 affected flights
  • My estimates of the itemized cost to airlines
  • Cargo
  • 1000/ton highly variable
  • Fuel
  • 3.50/gallon highly volatile

Back to some general SEC stuff
  • Product growth
  • Customers?
  • Impossible to capture true number of customers
  • NWS Service Assessment

Annual Number of Space Weather Products Issued
during Solar Cycle 23
  • The number of products above does not include
    the NOAA POES and GOES, or NASA ACE real time
    solar wind data sets, which account for over 14
    million file transfers per month
  • Over 400 event-driven products were issued
    during each of the solar minimum years (1996

Service Begins
Lockheed Martin Management
NOAA space weather alerts and warnings are
distributed by lead organizations to sister
agencies and subordinate groups
NASDA (Japan) Mission Control
CSA (Canada) Mission Control
  • NASA Mission Control
  • NASA Management
  • Flight Control
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Surgeon

ESA (Europe) Mission Control
NASA Space Radiation Analysis Group
RSA (Russia) Mission Control
NOAA/SEC Radiation Alert/Warning
Russian Inst. Biomedical Problems
  • 46 ACE RTSW Data Displays on the SEC Public Web
  • 35 updating Plots,
  • 8 real-time lists
  • 3 special displays for S/C location, tracking,
    and current conditions "dials"
  • Extensive Usage of Real Time Solar Wind Data
  • A million ACE solar wind files are downloaded
    from the SEC FTP server every month by nearly
    25,000 unique customers
  • SEC's public internet serves 4.8 million ACE
    RTSW data display files every month.

ACE RTSW customers are from 62 domains, the top
users Japan U.S. Government .com
(commercial) United Kingdom Education .net
(commercial) Germany Russia Australia
List of recipients for NOAA SEC Alerts
Warnings (distributed by JSC NASA)
  • 17 X-ray flares
  • 2 ICMEs transited in 19 hrs
  • ACE capabilities degraded
  • Over 270 watches, warnings
  • and alerts
  • Radio Blackout alerts 17
  • Geomag. storm alerts 41
  • Radiation storm alerts 31
  • Over 300 media contacts

SEC Space Weather Advisory Official Space Weather
Advisory issued by NOAA Space Environment Center,
BULLETIN 03- 2 2003 October 21 at 0611 p.m.
MDT (2003 October 22 0011 UTC)
  • Two very dynamic centers of activity have emerged
    on the sun. NOAA Region 484 developed rapidly
    over the past three days and is now one of the
    largest sunspot clusters to emerge during Solar
    Cycle 23, approximately 10 times larger than
    Earth. This region, which is nearing the center
    of the solar disk, already produced a major flare
    (category R3 Radio Blackout on the NOAA Space
    Weather Scales) on 19 October at 1650 UTC. The
    region continues to grow, and additional
    substantial flare activity is likely.
  • A second intense active region is rotating around
    the southeast limb of the sun. Though the sunspot
    group is not yet visible, two powerful eruptions
    occurred on 21 October as seen from the LASCO
    instrument on the SOHO spacecraft. These
    eruptions may herald the arrival of a volatile
    active center with the potential to impact
    various Earth systems.
  • Further major eruptions are possible from these
    active regions as they rotate across the face of
    the sun over the next two weeks. Agencies
    impacted by solar flare radio blackouts,
    geomagnetic storms, and solar radiation storms
    may experience disruptions over this two-week
    period. These include satellite and other
    spacecraft operations, power systems, HF
    communications, and navigation systems.

One way forecasters respond
  • GOES/XRS automated flare detection various
    thresholds audible alarm and text display
  • GOES/SXI automated flare location text
  • Check of other sources LASCO, Type II
  • HALO CME e-mail list or do their own speed
    calculation. Assess event size, direction,
  • Check Major Events Database what did other
    events like this do
  • Issue Watch

Major Events Database
  • X17 Flare Oct 28
  • The extreme magnitude and speed of the event led
    the forecasters to examine the historical record
    to provide some guidance for the likely Sun-Earth
    transit time. It was found that the fastest
    Sun-Earth transit of a CME observed to date for
    the current solar cycle was 28 hours, from the X5
    flare on July 14, 2000. Forecasters expected this
    CME transit to be even faster, and predicted a
    transit time of 24 hours. Geomagnetic storm
    watches were issued predicting the strongest
    geomagnetic storm of Solar Cycle 23.
  • X8 Flare Nov 2
  • Historical data revealed that the geomagnetic
    response from large CMEs that originated from
    near the west limb varied dramatically. Given the
    intensity of the recent storms, forecasters
    predicted another severe storm with an onset in
    less than 25 hours. Updated LASCO imagery on
    November 03 (Figure 6), revealed that while there
    was an Earth-directed component (full halo CME
    was identified), most of the ejecta were directed
    away from Earth an impact was likely, but the
    storming would be considerably less than
    initially expected. Also significant was the
    deceleration of the CME as it moved away from the
    Sun. The initial prediction for a lt25 hour
    arrival was changed to 40 hours. A short-lived
    geomagnetic storm began early on November 04
    (36.5 hour transit) and briefly reached severe
    levels before quickly subsiding.

An All Clear Forecast
  • X28 Nov 4, 2003
  • Airline dispatchers assumed that S3 level would
    be exceeded
  • From source location, West Limb, forecasters
    advised airlines that S3 threshold would not be
  • Thus, airlines could fly their optimal polar
  • Maximum storm size - S2

Service Assessment Findings
  • Finding (1 out of 9) Significant shortfalls
    exist in warning and forecast capability due to
    inadequate models and tools to derive forecast
    products. There is currently limited capability
    to warn for solar flare radio blackouts, high
    energy radiation storms, and many other aspects
    of space weather.
  • The recent activity highlighted the need for the
    following models (2 of 6)
  • Coronal Mass Ejection Propagation - CME
    characterization (mass, speed, direction, and
    magnetic structure) for predicting time of CME
    arrival and onset and intensity of geomagnetic
  • Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) - SEP spectra for
    airlines, satellite anomaly, and manned space
    flight hazard prediction. Airline companies and
    satellite operators requested more detailed SEP
    onset time and duration predictions.

Lessons Learned
  • How and why some missions are useful
  • Or why forecasters use their data
  • ACE we planned for this one
  • SOHO produced some surprises

Lessons Learned - ACE
  • Keys to forecast center use
  • Reliability 24/7
  • Latency commensurate with timescale of
  • First data in 1997
  • Worked before launch to ensure continuous receipt
    of data directly to the forecast center
  • Global ground station network meets this need
  • Magnetometer and solar wind data were expected to
    be used
  • Bz, VSW
  • Proof of concept for operations
  • ACE follow-on mission being studied (BAA)

ACE unexpected uses
  • ACE/EPAM proton data
  • Energetic Ion Enhancement (EIE)
  • signature of approaching magnetic cloud
  • Forecasters need to do forecast specific studies
  • Forecasters need to understand the
  • Avoid confusion with CIR signature

Transient Shocks
  • Shock accelerated protons move ahead of the
    source, seen at L1 hours before transient arrival
  • Allows forecaster to monitor approach of shock
  • As shock approaches, flux of accelerated
    particles increases
  • EIE typically peaks with the shock arrival
  • Peak in EIE flux believed to correlate with
    geomagnetic response
  • Can we use EIE flux as a predictor of geomagnetic
    activity from transients?
  • Define an appropriate EIE threshold to forecast
    major to severe geomagnetic storming

Forecast Study
  • Reviewed EPAM data (47-65 keV) Apr 98 - Dec 00
  • EIE flux of 104 particle flux units (pfu) marked
    onset of event
  • Recorded EIE event particulars (peak flux and
    timing) and corresponding Kp/Ap (Potsdam)
  • Identified EIE sources and categorized into
    Transient, High Speed Stream (HSS), Unknown, or
  • Recorded a total of 113 events
  • 83 Transients, 21 HSS, 5 Unknown, 4 Exclude
  • Used the Transients and Unknown (88 events) to
    compute statistics
  • Correlated peak EIE flux with geomagnetic
  • 5 ? 105 pfu best threshold to predict
    major-severe storms


Study Results
EIE Max ? 5 ? 105
  • Time from EIE event onset (104 pfu) to shock
    ranged from 0 - 36 hours
  • Highly dependent on peak EIE flux
  • EIE peak typically coincident with shock arrival
    at L1
  • Largest Kp values occurred up to 22 hours after
    EIE peak
  • Maximum running Ap typically observed in first 24
    hours following EIE peak, but up to 42 hours
    after peak

Total (Estimated) Number of Space Weather Models
Driven or Validated by ACE Solar Wind Data
Lessons Learned - SOHO
  • Reliability and Latency issues are key
  • Reliability mostly good
  • Latency - good
  • SOHO team sold the utility of the data to SEC
  • Jan 1997 event a prime example

Lessons Learned - SOHO
  • Currently use EIT, LASCO and MDI
  • Less use of EIT now that GOES/SXI is operational
  • Worked with SOHO teams to ensure rapid access to
    data and for simple analysis tools
  • Happened slowly over time
  • Auto-ftp gif images directly from SOHO operations
  • LASCO team issues Halo CME alerts with relevant
  • Assumed source location, velocity, PA
  • Not always in the time needed, so SEC does its
    own analysis

The big list
  • A list of the highest priority needs
  • As identified by a survey of forecasters
  • Latest version completed Feb, 2006
  • Not a complete list of needs
  • I just got this latest list, so Im not sure of
    the specifics for some of these

SEC Highest Priority Operational Needs
  • Solar energetic particle event forecasts
  • including start time, end time, peak flux, time
    of peak flux, spectra, fluence, and probability
    of occurrence
  • Geomagnetic indices (e.g., Ap, Kp, Dst) and
    probability forecasts
  • Background solar wind prediction
  • Solar wind data from L1
  • Solar coronagraph data
  • Energetic electron flux prediction for
    International Space Station
  • Regional geomagnetic activity nowcasts and
  • Ionospheric maps of TEC and scintillation
    (real-time and future)
  • Solar particle degradation of polar HF radio

SEC High Priority Operational Needs
  • Improved image analysis capability (e.g., for
  • Short-term (days) F10.7 forecasts
  • Short-term (days) X-ray flare forecasts
  • EUV index
  • Geomagnetic activity predictions (1-7 days) based
    on CME observations, coronal hole observations,
    solar magnetic observations, and ACE/EPAM
  • Visualization of disturbances in interplanetary
    space (e.g. view from above the ecliptic tracking
    an ICME)
  • Geomagnetic storm end-time forecast
  • Real-time estimates of geomagnetic indices
  • Real-time quality diagnostics (verification) of
    all warning/watch/forecast products
  • Routine statistical and/or numerical guidance for
    all forecast quantities
  • e.g., climatological forecasts of flares,
    geomagnetic indices and probabilities, and
    F10.7similar to NWS Model Output Statistics
  • Magnetopause crossing forecasts based on L1 data

Proton event prediction
  • Lots of new data since the operational model was
    last updated (1998)
  • A little activity in this area working on
    validating some of the model outputs (e.g.
  • CME speed is a good discriminator (1200 km/s)
  • Represents a real, significant need in the
    operational community (viz Oct-Nov effects)
  • Airlines want 8 hr lead time
  • Okay, not realistic but better ability to predict
    event peak fluxes and event duration would be
  • Maybe we can do 8 hr lead on exceeding a
    threshold for certain events
  • The demand for better energetic particle
    prediction can only increase in the future

Solar wind structure
  • Coronal holes (high speed streams) are the main
    driver of geomagnetic activity during the
    declining phase of the cycle
  • Solar sector boundaries are also important
  • Wang-Sheeley-Arge model is a good start, but
    needs more development
  • Better modeling could significantly improve
    forecasting the onset of activity
  • Provides an important context for CMEs
  • CME acceleration/deceleration depends on the
    pre-existing ambient solar wind into which it

  • Our ability to use these data depends on
  • Utility thats where the science (and you)
    comes in
  • Reliability not an issue
  • Latency not an issue
  • Long lifetime a huge asset
  • Although we expect more from STEREO, we consider
    it limited due to the short lifetime.
  • Bottom line is, forecasters will use it if it
    helps them

Themes of the AIA
  • Energy input, storage, and release the 3-D
    dynamic coronal structure
  • 3D configuration of the solar corona mapping
    magnetic free energy evolution of the corona
    towards unstable configurations the life-cycle
    of atmospheric field
  • Coronal heating and irradiance thermal structure
    and emission
  • Contributions to solar (E)UV irradiance by types
    of features physical properties of
    irradiance-modulating features physical models
    of the irradiance-modulating features
    physics-based predictive capability for the
    spectral irradiance
  • Transients sources of radiation and energetic
  • Unstable field configurations and initiation of
    transients evolution of transients early
    evolution of CMEs particle acceleration
  • Connections to geospace material and magnetic
    field output of the Sun
  • Dynamic coupling of the corona and heliosphere
    solar wind energetics propagation of CMEs and
    related phenomena vector field and velocity
  • Coronal seismology a new diagnostic to access
    coronal physics
  • Evolution, propagation, and decay of transverse
    and longitudinal waves probing coronal physics
    with waves the role of magnetic topology in wave

All of the themes have Space Weather implications
Objectives of the HMI
  • Convection-zone dynamics and the solar dynamo
  • Evolution of meridional circulation solar cycle
  • Origin and evolution of sunspots, active regions
    and complexes of activity
  • Active region source and evolution sunspot
    lifetime next day probabilities
  • Sources and drivers of solar activity and
  • Origin and dynamics of magnetic sheared
    structures and d-type sunspots magnetic
    configuration and mechanisms of flares and CMEs
    improved predictions of flares and maybe even
  • Links between the internal processes and dynamics
    of the corona and heliosphere
  • Coronal magnetic structure and solar wind solar
    wind important as cause of geomagnetic storms and
    the influence on ICMEs
  • Precursors of solar disturbances for space
    weather forecasts.
  • Far-side imaging and active index determination
    of magnetic cloud Bs events longer lead time
    forecasting, improved geomagnetic storm forecasts

All of the themes have Space Weather implications
How well use AIA and HMI
  • AIA
  • Backup to SXI
  • during eclipse season
  • Possibility that GOES-12 SXI will die and GOES-N
    will not be made operational immediately
  • Flare location? (USAF)
  • 10s vs 60s
  • CME signatures
  • Waves, dimmings
  • HMI
  • Far-side imaging

How wed like to use AIA and HMI
  • 10 sec cadence precursors or unique signatures
  • Well need automated feature recognition
  • Robust, few false alarms, easily validated
  • Identifying the magnetic field configurations
    which lead to CMEs, filament eruptions and
  • Emerging flux/ARs actual lead time for flare
    and CME forecasts

Event detection needed!
  • Automated event detection will be a necessity
  • Automatically identify when something significant
    happens i.e. event detection, favorable
  • There is way too much SDO data for the forecaster
    to be able to watch for everything
  • Flares, waves, dimmings, precursors, emerging
  • Otherspretty much anything you can imagine

Additional AIA uses
  • Show us whether we need to improve
    spatial/temporal resolution of future GOES SXI
  • Calibration/tracking of GOES SXI
  • New insight into phenomena we are interested in?
  • Flare precursors
  • CME diagnostics
  • Flare location
  • Coronal Hole area/location
  • Active Region area/complexity
  • Returning active regions
  • CME diagnostics

A brief summary
  • Show us what well need for the next generation
    of operational instruments
  • Benefit forecasters significantly
  • Its often difficult to know how useful theyll
  • However, there are certain hurdles which must be
    overcome for the data to even have the potential
    to be useful

Current Forecast Capabilities
  • 30 day climatology
  • 1 day persistence
  • skill.
  • The average accuracy of the forecasts in the
    sample relative to the accuracy of forecasts
    produced by a reference method. Examples of a
    suitable reference include forecasts of
    recurrence, persistence, sample climatology, or
    the output of a forecast model. Skill can be
    measured by any number of so-called skill scores.

(No Transcript)
NOAA/SEC Real Time Data - an absolute
requirement to support worldwide DoD operations
gt80 of ALL DoD space wx alerts/warnings rely on
NOAA data
NOAA/SEC Data (Primarily Satellite)
Space Command
USAF Air Force Weather Agency
Army and Navy Operations
Missile Defense Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
U.S. Northern Command and NORAD
Joint Space Ops Center
- Critical loss of radar target
tracking or creates false targets
- Launch trajectory errors payload deployment
problems - Direct radiation hazard
to high altitude aircrews - HF
radio blackouts comm impact to sensitive
operations - SATCOM
interference/downlink problems -
Impede SAR (search rescue) operations
National Security Impacts