5.6 Advances in Forecasting of Solar Energetic Particle Event Peak Flux

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 4:45 PM
Room 16B (Austin Convention Center)
Andrea Melissa Karelitz, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and A. Pulkkinen

Solar energetic particle (SEP) events are a wide scale phenomena that are not only an issue for the 2,000+ costly satellites in the sky but also have negative implications on aviation, and even ground based communication. Forecasting the magnitude and duration of strong SEP events based on preceding events that are often associated with them, such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares, is an important step in future operational space weather as well as research. In order to provide a model connecting SEP and CME characteristics, six specific CMEs between 8/14/2010 and 5/17/12 that met specific qualifications (i.e. earth directed), were chosen and several parameters characterizing the connections were derived. From the derived data, correlations between many of the different parameters were tested. One of the more meaningful correlations that was found is between the peak flux of >10 MeV GOES protons and the speed of the CME. A logarithmic correlation between these two entities is clearly seen with a R^2 value of 0.78 and a fit of y=2.74e.^(003x). For forecasting purposes, the times of the arrival of the SEP event with respect to the evolution of the CME was also recorded. Another possibly meaningful correlation was found between SEP duration and CME speed with R^2 value of 0.56. The identified connections were verified by adding an event that occurred on July 12, 2012. Using the model connecting SEP peak flux and CME speed as produced in this study, space weather forecasters can better predict the magnitude of the SEP event that is a result of an earth directed CME. Doing so will enable precautions to be taken on spacecraft as well as ground based entities that are vulnerable to the high-energy protons. In future work, we plan to perform similar analysis with multiple CMEs as well to study additional energy bands of GOES SEP flux.

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