Operational specification and forecasting advances for Dst, LEO thermospheric densities, and aviation radiation dose and dose rate

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 8:45 AM
Room C110 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
W. Kent Tobiska, Space Environment Technologies, Pacific Palisades, CA; and D. Knipp, W. J. Burke, D. Bouwer, J. Bailey, M. P. Hagan, L. Didkovsky, H. Garrett, B. Bowman, J. L. Gannon, W. Atwell, J. B. Blake, W. R. Crain, D. Rice, R. W. Schunk, J. Fulgham, D. Bell, B. Gersey, R. Wilkins, R. Fuschino, C. Flynn, K. Cecil, C. J. Mertens, X. Xu, G. Crowley, A. Reynolds, I. Azeem, S. Wiley, M. D. Holland, and K. Malone

Handout (14.8 MB)

Space weather's effects upon the near-Earth environment are due to dynamic changes in the energy transfer processes from the Sun's photons, particles, and fields. Of the space environment domains that are affected by space weather, the magnetosphere, thermosphere, and even troposphere are key regions that are affected. Space Environment Technologies (SET) has developed and is producing innovative space weather applications. Key operational systems for providing timely information about the effects of space weather on these domains are SET's Magnetosphere Alert and Prediction System (MAPS), LEO Alert and Prediction System (LAPS), and Automated Radiation Measurements for Aviation Safety (ARMAS) system. MAPS provides a forecast Dst index out to 6 days through the data-driven, redundant data stream Anemomilos algorithm. Anemomilos uses observational proxies for the magnitude, location, and velocity of solar ejecta events. This forecast index is used by satellite operations to characterize upcoming geomagnetic storms, for example. LAPS is the SET fully redundant operational system providing recent history, current epoch, and forecast solar and geomagnetic indices for use in operational versions of the JB2008 thermospheric density model. The thermospheric densities produced by that system, driven by the LAPS data, are forecast to 72-hours to provide the global mass densities for satellite operators. ARMAS is a project that has successfully demonstrated the operation of a micro dosimeter on aircraft to capture the real-time radiation environment due to Galactic Cosmic Rays and Solar Energetic Particles. The dose and dose-rates are captured on aircraft, downlinked in real-time via the Iridium satellites, processed on the ground, incorporated into the most recent NAIRAS global radiation climatology data runs, and made available to end users via the web and smart phone apps. ARMAS provides the “weather” of the radiation environment to improve air-crew and passenger safety. Many of the data products from MAPS, LAPS, and ARMAS are available on the SpaceWx smartphone app for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android professional users and public space weather education. We describe recent forecasting advances for moving the space weather information from these automated systems into operational, derivative products for communications, aviation, and satellite operations uses.