317 Geomagnetic Disturbances and Geomagnetic Induced Currents

Monday, 11 January 2016
Lawrence J. Zanetti, APL, Laurel, MD; and B. Anderson, H. Korth, R. M. Robinson, and A. Pulkkinen

Space weather impacts to the US power grid during even not-so-extreme events have been identified in multiple recent reports conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Department of Homeland Security, stakeholder agencies and organizations, and insurance companies. Risk to the electric power grid is but one example of space weather consequences and the dire need for increased capability with regard to prediction, assessment, and accuracy of our space weather intelligence system.

The AMPERE/Iridium system of identifying the ionospheric source current systems which are responsible for geomagnetic induced currents (GICs) will be highlighted. This capability would be vital to understanding the cause and effect. While the AMPERE global current observations cannot predict events, these global maps could track the resulting intense ionospheric currents during storm development. An example includes major ionospheric currents on 17 March 2015 and the accompanying ground geoelectric fields these fields are the drivers of geomagnetic induced currents in power grids. Major ionospheric currents developed early on17 March, preceded by dayside current development.

The use of all possible observational input will improve the space weather watch, warning, alert prediction and verification system.

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