Forecasting Interplanetary Space Weather for Operations
Craig D. Fry, Exploration Physics International, Inc., Huntsville, AL
The Sun releases tremendous amounts of energy during large solar events. The resulting geomagnetic storms and solar energetic particle (SEP) events significantly impact our modern technological society. Geomagnetic storms can disrupt electric power distribution, navigation, communications, satellite and other systems. Solar energetic particle events can pose a significant health risk to astronauts and aircrew members at high latitudes and altitudes. Interplanetary disturbances (coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and interplanetary shocks) are spawned during large solar events and drive these space weather storms. Key to predicting space weather is the ability to characterize the solar wind and track CMEs and shocks as they move outward from the Sun to the Earth and beyond. Our team has developed a real-time solar wind forecast system that is driven by solar observations. We have evaluated our skill at forecasting shock arrival time at Earth during most of Solar Cycle 23 (January, 1997 – present). Our forecast system is currently being implemented at Air Force Weather Agency's Space Weather Operations Center. Accurate predictions of these space disturbances are not only important for civilian and DOD operations, but also are critical for implementing the vision for human exploration of space.
Session 3, New space weather data sources, products, and developments with forecast models
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 8:30 AM-12:30 PM, A406
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