Seventh European Space Weather Week
15-19 November, 2010 - Brugge, Belgium

Session 1
SSA Space Weather in Support of European Critical Infrastructure

Session: Session 1 SSA Space Weather in Support of European Critical Infrastructure (01)
Type: Oral presentation
Date: Monday, November 15, 2010
Time: 14:30 - 18:00
Chair: Alain Hilgers & Mats Ljungqvist
Remarks: Coffee break: 16:00 - 16:30hrs

Seq   Time   Title   Abs No
1   14:30   ESA SSA SWE Element Status and near Future Plans
Luntama, Juha-Pekka1; Glover, Alexi2; Hilgers, Alain3

The Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Preparatory Programme (PP) established for 2009 - 2011 has passed its half way point at the end of June 2010. Although the SSA PP is foreseen to be extended due to the possible postponement of the next ESA Ministerial Meeting, this is a good point to check the status of the SWE element of the SSA PP and to look at the plans for the second half of the preparatory programme.

The objective of the overall SSA Programme is to support the European independent utilisation of and access to space research or services. The SSA Preparatory Program will establish the initial elements that will facilitate the full deployment of the European SSA services. In the case of the SSA SWE element this means assessment of the existing SWE assets in Europe and worldwide, establishment of a SWE precursor services, and planning of the necessary space and ground segments that will allow the provision of the services required by the SSA users. These plans will be integrated into the overall design of the SSA system architecture.

The SWE element of the SSA will provide user services related to the monitoring of the Sun, the solar wind, the radiation belts, the magnetosphere and the ionosphere. These services will include near real time information and forecasts about the characteristics of the space environment and predictions of space weather impacts on sensitive spaceborne and ground based infrastructure. The SSA SWE system will also include establishment of a permanent database for analysis, model development and scientific research. These services are will support a wide variety of user domains including spacecraft designers, spacecraft operators, human space flights, users and operators of transionospheric radio links, and space weather research community.

This paper will present the status of the SSA SWE element development, planned precursor SWE services and the linking of the SWE element into the overall SSA architecture. The presentation will address the developments planned for the second half of the SSA PP and the initial plans for the full SSA Programme regarding the SWE services.

2   14:45   Proposal of Space Weather Segment Precursor Services - in Support to ESA SSA Preparatory Programme'
Reid, Simon

The ESA contract SN-1: 'Space Weather Segment Precursor Services - Part 1: Definition and Service Consolidation', currently under negotiation, will be one of the first contracts issued in the Space Weather element of ESA's Space Situational Awareness framework. The 12 month contract will take place entirely within the SSA Preparatory phase and has two principle threads to the work to be performed. First, a set of existing assets will be redeployed together at an ESA facility and operated for a fixed period, to establish the extent to which Europe's Space Weather requirements can be met with existing assets. Second, the full strategic roadmap for the development of a future integrated system will be derived. The future system will be based on existing, imminent and planned assets, and will provide all essential services and satisfy all requirements identified to date by ESA and their advisory partners.
RHEA System SA has submitted a proposal on behalf of an international consortium that has gathered together many well-known players within the European Space Weather domain. The composition of the team will be presented and individual roles within the proposal described. The overall project philosophy, methodology and work breakdown will be explained, and the overall vision of how the work's output and results will carry forward to the rest of the SSA programme outlined. This will include an outline of how the community can contribute to the overall effort.

3   15:05   Implementation Design Study of Space Weather Instruments
Norbert, Pailer1; Bothmer, Volker2; Kummer, Uwe1; Honnen, Karl1; Lang, Michael1
1Astrium GmbH, Friedrichshafen, GERMANY;
2University of Göttingen, GERMANY

The objective of the SSA programme is to support Europe's independent utilisation of, and access to, space through the provision of timely and accurate information, data and services of the space environment, particularly regarding Space Weather hazards to infrastructure in orbit and on the ground, and to manned missions. Measurements that can only be made in space are a key element of the SSA system. ESA's SN-II study, as a subset of the SSA programme, focuses on the flight of Space Weather sensors as secondary payload on planned missions This new and coordinated approach to developing Space Weather applications tailored to European user needs together with the supporting role from the scientific community will strongly increase Europe's capabilities in this area. This presentation introduces the main elements of the SN-II study and explains the logic flow towards instrument selection and implementation on planned missions. It will identify the instruments needed to fulfil the SSA Space Weather customer requirements defined for monitoring conditions at the Sun, in the solar wind, and of the Earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, and the required orbital, instrumental and spacecraft parameters. The presentation will especially report on the current status of the project with respect to the selection process of potential instrument providers that will lead to dedicated Space Weather sensors to be flown in space as piggy-backs, including the definition of high level requirements for dedicated mission(s) needed to close identified existing gaps.

4   15:30   HaSTeNet: a State-of-the-Art H-Alpha Solar Patrol Network for the SSA
Clette, Frédéric1; Temmer, Manuela2; Veronig, Astrid2; Zuccarello, Francesca3; Malherbe, Jean-Marie4
1Observatoire Royal de Belgique, BELGIUM;
2Kanzelhohe Observatory, Universitat Graz, AUSTRIA;
3Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Universita' di Catania, ITALY;
4Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, LESIA, FRANCE

The SSA roadmap identified among its key data sources a European ground-based network of H-alpha solar flare patrol telescopes. We review here the multiple existing know-hows at solar monitoring stations across Europe as well as the current shortcomings in the existing H-alpha observations. From this, we can outline the different aspects necessary for the implementation of such a network: the design and standardisation of the observing equipment, the data transmission and merging and the implementation of an operational H-alpha flare alert center. New instrumentation as well as robust automated image processing and data fusion techniques can involve partnerships with the industry, which is reflected by the inclusion of HaSTeNet in the GSTP 5 program. We will conclude on the various envisioned data products (flares, filament eruptions, Moreton waves) as well as the connection of HasTeNet with other world-wide solar monitoring initiatives, including the possible installation of a polar H-alpha station.

5   15:40   EISCAT_3D: A European Imaging Radar for Space Weather Research
McCrea, Ian
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UNITED KINGDOM

EISCAT_3D will be Europe's next-generation radar for studies of the high-latitude atmosphere and geospace, with capabilities going beyond anything currently available. The facility will consist of large phased arrays in three countries. Depending on funding, EISCAT_3D will comprise tens of thousands, up to more than 100,000 antenna elements. The EISCAT_3D design combines capabilities for volumetric imaging and tracking and aperture synthesis imaging, with improved sensitivity and transmitter flexibility. A minimum of five sites is envisaged, with receivers located around 120 km and 250 km from the active site, providing optimal geometry for vectors in the middle and upper atmosphere. An active site comprising 16,000 elements will exceed the sensitivity of the present VHF radar by an order of magnitude. EISCAT_3D will deliver radical improvements compared to many of EISCAT's current space weather capabilities. In particular, its enhanced imaging and tracking capabilities will provide much better monitoring abilities for space debris, satellites and meteors. In addition, the ability to image a large area of the ionosphere simultaneously will provide much better information on plasma structures such as blobs and patches, the understanding of which is important for the communities interested in TEC and HF communications applications. In this talk we will focus on these and other potential space weather applications of the EISCAT_3D system and the kinds of data products and services which the new facility might be able to provide for the European Space Weather community.

6   15:50   Space Weather: Recent Programmatic Developments in the UK
Hapgood, Mike1; Thomson, Alan2; Jones, Bryn3; Horne, Richard4
1STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UNITED KINGDOM;
2British Geological Survey, UNITED KINGDOM;
3SolarMetrics, UNITED KINGDOM;
4British Antarctic Survey, UNITED KINGDOM

The past few months have seen a growing interest in space weather from high-level organisations in the UK public and private sectors. At the centre of this, there is recognition that space weather is an emerging natural hazard that requires assessment by emergency planners. This is leading to growing interactions between policy makers and UK space weather experts. This presentation will outline some of those interactions and discuss the opportunities and challenges that they pose for the space weather community.

7   16:30   Overview of Space Weather and SSA Activities in EU Research
Ljungqvist, Mats
European Commission, BELGIUM

The European Union supports research on space weather through the Space theme of its FP7 research programme. The SOTERIA project launched in 2009 brings together a significant part of the European space weather community. Currently, a number of new projects are being launched. The projects will address the longer term generic scientific work and practical pre-operative aspects of space weather prediction as well as modelling of space weather effects on Earth and space infrastructure and the human body.
The presentation will provide a brief overview of issues covered by EU projects in the field of space weather and related SSA topics in the context of the FP7 research programme.

8   16:39   European Risk from Geomagnetically Induced Currents (EURISGIC)
Viljanen, Ari1; Pirjola, Risto1; Pulkkinen, Antti2; Sakharov, Yaroslav3; Thomson, Alan4; Wesztergom, Viktor5; Wik, Magnus6; Wintoft, Peter7
1Finnish Meteorological Institute, FINLAND;
2CUA/IACS at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, UNITED STATES;
3Polar Geophysical Institute, RUSSIAN FEDERATION;
4British Geological Survey, UNITED KINGDOM;
5Geodetic and Geophysical Research Institute, HUNGARY;
6NeuroSpace, SWEDEN;
7Swedish Institute of Space Physics, SWEDEN

The EURISGIC project will produce the first European-wide real-time prototype forecast service of GIC in power systems, based on in-situ solar wind observations and comprehensive simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere. By utilising geomagnetic recordings, we will also derive the first map of the statistical risk of large GIC throughout Europe. Because the most intense geomagnetic storms constitute the most remarkable threat, with a risk of power grid blackouts and destruction of transformers, we will also investigate worst-case GIC scenarios based on historical data. EURISGIC will exploit the knowledge and advanced modelling methods developed in Europe and North America. Close communication throughout the project with a stakeholder advisory group will help in directing the research and outreach appropriately. The results of this study will help in the future design of more robust and secure protection against GIC in power transmission grids in Europe, which are anticipated to become increasingly interconnected and geographically wider.

9   16:48   Advanced Thermosphere Modelling for Orbit Prediction (ATMOP)
Menvielle, Michel1; Sánchez-Ortiz, Noelia2; Aylward, Alan3; Bruinsma, Sean4; Jackson, David5; Lathuillčre, Chantal6; Sladek, Oto7; Valette, Jean Jacques8; Dudok de Wit, Thierry9; Watermann, Jurgen9; Bushell, Andrew5
3University College London, UCL, UNITED KINGDOM;
4Centre National d?Etudes Spatiales, CNES, FRANCE;
6Laboratoire de Planétologie de Grenoble, UJF- CNRS, FRANCE;
8Collecte Localisation Satellites, CLS, FRANCE;
9LPC2E, CNRS and University of Orléans, FRANCE

The ATMOP research project aims at building a new thermosphere model with the potential to spawn an operational version. It will enable precise air drag computation which is mandatory for improved survey and precise tracking of space objects in Low Earth Orbit and the initiation of appropriate measures to minimise risks to satellites (track loss, collisions) and ground assets (re-entry zone). The state of the thermosphere can vary rapidly and significantly in response to solar and to geomagnetic activity (space weather), i.e., accurate orbit prediction requires accurate space-time nowcast and forecast of the thermosphere. Despite the presence in Europe of one of the three groups that have the capability to develop and maintain an operational semi-empirical thermosphere model (CNES/CNRS, the other two are in the US), and of one of the world leading teams in the field of physical modelling of the atmosphere (UCL), Europe has currently neither a near-real-time thermosphere prediction model nor the operational services required to provide regular thermosphere nowcast and forecast. The ATMOP project is designed to fill this gap through: * Defining and assessing new proxies to describe the external forcing of the thermosphere; * Developing an advanced semi-empirical Drag Temperature Model (DTM) that meets the requirements for operational orbit computations; * Improving physical modelling of the thermosphere to assist the development of the advanced DTM and of a global physical model with data assimilation capabilities which may ultimately become the successor to semi-empirical models. * Developing schemes for near-real-time assimilation of thermospheric and ionospheric data into an advanced predictive DTM and into the physical Coupled Middle Atmosphere-Thermosphere (CMAT2) model. ATMOP therefore contributes to ensuring the security of space assets from space weather events and the development of the European capability to reduce dependence of space operations on the US.

10   16:57   AFFECTS (Advanced Forecast For Ensuring Communications Through Space)
Bothmer, Volker1; Team, AFFECTS2
1University of Goettingen, GERMANY;
2International, GERMANY

Under the call EU-FP7 SPACE-2010-1 the European Union supports activities strengthening space foundations reducing the vulnerability of space assets from space weather events. Solar activity affects the entire Earth environment from the magnetosphere down to the ionosphere and even to the lower atmosphere climate system. The natural hazards of space weather do not only modify the atmosphere but also can catastrophically disrupt the operations of many technological systems, thus causing disruption to people's lives and jobs. The AFFECTS collaborative project uniquely addresses these key topics through state of the art analysis and modeling of the Sun-Earth Chain of Effects on the Earth's ionosphere and their subsequent impacts on communication systems. Multi-point space observations enable world-leading experts at the highest level of interdisciplinary excellence to forecast the relevant space weather effects on the ionosphere quantitatively. The unique set of measurements from satellites in different orbits is complemented by dedicated ground-based monitoring of auroral electrojet and ionospheric activity. The AFFECTS team consists of key European space weather research teams and the US Space Weather Prediction Center of NOAA. To date no dedicated space weather forecast system for ionospheric applications exists in an operational manner, and thus this project would lead to an entirely new capability in Europe that is not only important for society but also does not exist elsewhere. AFFECTS is an unprecedented project which in time of the expected next solar maximum around 2012 will provide advanced prediction, assessment and early warning capabilities of disruptive space weather events that are expected to be particularly poignant to society and thereby meets the needs of Europe?s community of users. AFFECTS will provide Europe with the first advanced early warning and space weather forecast system to help European citizens mitigating the impact on its communication systems.

11   17:06   Cigala: an fp7 Project to tackle Ionospheric Scintillation Threat to Gnss Operations in Latin America
Bougard, Bruno1; De Franceschi, Giorgiana2; Aquino, Marcio3; Galera Monico, Joao4; Saut, Carine5; Fererra Da Silva, Elcia6; Forte, Biagio7; Wernik, Andrzej8
1Septentrio Satellite Navigation, BELGIUM;
3University of Nottingham, UNITED KINGDOM;
5Pildo Labs, SPAIN;
6Consultgel, BRAZIL;
7University of Nova Gorica, SLOVENIA;
8Polish Academy of Sciences, POLAND

Solar induced drifting ionospheric electron density irregularities may lead to the scintillation of transionospheric radio waves, as in the case of signals broadcast from GNSS satellites. Scintillations can not only degrade signal quality but also cause outage, therefore posing a major threat to GNSS based applications demanding high levels of accuracy, availability and integrity. The problem will be exacerbated with the next solar maximum, predicted for 2013.

Latin America, Brazil in particular, which relies in a great extend on high-precision GNSS in operations such as off-shore surveying, land management and precision agriculture is particularly exposed as close to the equatorial anomaly. This was demonstrated during recent major solar storms, which led to delay or cancellation of major surveying and drilling operations as well as serious disruption to the WAAS system in those areas with, as a consequence, significant economical loss. The problem will be further exacerbated with the next solar maximum, predicted for 2013.

The CIGALA project, co-funded by the EC 7th Framwork Program and supervised by the GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), aims to develop and test ionospheric scintillation countermeasures to be implemented in professional multi-frequency GNSS receivers. The project leverages research and development activities coordinated between European and Brazilian experts, involving a wide scale ionospheric measurement and test campaigns that will be conducted in Brazil with the support of several local academic and industrial partners.
This presentation will review the status and first achievements of the project, including first measurements and results on scintillation climatology in the Brazilian region.

12   17:15   A new, Ground Based Data-Assimilative Model of the Plasmasphere - a Critical Contribution to RB modeling for SW Purposes
Lichtenberger, Janos1; Clilverd, Mark2; Heilig, Balazs3; Vellanate, Massimo4; Ulich, Thomas5; Rodger, Craig6; Collier, Andrew7; Jorgensen, Anders8; Reda, Jan9; Holzworth, Bob10; Friedel, Reiner11
1Eotvos University, HUNGARY;
2British Antartctic Survey, UNITED KINGDOM;
3Eotvos Lorand Geophysical Institute, HUNGARY;
4University of L'Aquila, ITALY;
5University of Oulu, FINLAND;
6University of Otago, NEW ZEALAND;
7Hermanus Magnetic Observatory, SOUTH AFRICA;
8New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, UNITED STATES;
9Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, POLAND;
10University of Washington, UNITED STATES;
11Los Alamos National Laboratory, UNITED STATES

The security of space assets are affected by the high-energy charged particle environment in the radiation belts. The controlling principal source and loss mechanisms in the radiation belts are not yet completely understood. During a geomagnetic storm the length of time during which space assets are in danger is determined by the loss mechanisms, particularly by relativistic electron precipitation. The primary mechanism for this precipitation is the interaction of several wave modes with resonant electrons which leads to scattering into the atmospheric loss cone. The nature of the wave activity and the interactions between the waves and radiation belt particles are strongly governed by the properties of the plasmasphere. At this point there are few existing and regular measurements of plasmaspheric properties, with existing plasmaspheric models lacking the structures known to exist in the real plasmasphere. There is evidence that enhanced wave activity and enhanced radiation belt losses occur due to such structures. In addition, there are large uncertainties concerning the fundamental nature of relativistic electron precipitation (REP), due to the difficulties of undertaking quality in-situ measurements.
To address these uncertainties in this proposed project we will provide regular longitudinally-resolved measurements plasmaspheric electron and mass densities and hence monitor the changing composition of the plasmasphere, one of the properties which determines wave growth. This will allow us to develop a data assimilative model of the plasmasphere. At the same time, we will monitor the occurrence and properties of REP, tying the time-resolved loss of relativistic electrons to the dynamic plasmasphere observations.
Our approach will primarily use ground-based networks of observing stations, operating in the ULF and VLF ranges, deployed on a worldwide level. Our proposal is made up of 6 work packages to meet these science goals.

13   17:24   Protecting space assets from high energy particles by developing European dynamic modelling and forecasting capabilities (SPACECAST)
Horne, Richard; Koskinen, Hannu; Ganjushkina, Natalia; Boscher, Daniel; Sanahuja, Blai; Poedts, Stefaan; Jacobs, Carla; Heynderickx, Daniel
British Antarctic Survey, UNITED KINGDOM

Solar activity can trigger sporadic bursts of energetic particles and increase the number of high energy (MeV) particles trapped inside the Earth?s radiation belts. These high energy particles cause damage to satellites and are a hazard for manned spaceflight and aviation. They are difficult to predict due to uncertainties over the basic physical processes, and the need to access reliable data in real time. European space policy is committed to the Galileo radionavigation system consisting of 30 satellites, the use of space assets to protect the security of its citizens (GMES), and a strong and competitive space industry. It is therefore imperative that Europe develops the means to protect these space assets from all forms of space weather hazards, and especially now as solar activity will increase to a maximum over the next few years and will increase the hazard risk. This proposal will draw together European and international partners to increase knowledge, reduce uncertainty, and to develop a forecasting capability. We will undertake targeted studies of particle source, transport, acceleration and loss processes in the Earth?s radiation belts to improve understanding of how they respond to solar activity. We will transform research models into space weather models to forecast the radiation belts in near real time, and provide alerts for periods of high risk to stakeholders. We will test models of how solar energetic particles are accelerated by shocks in the solar wind, and are transported through the interplanetary medium, in order to improve engineering tools for predicting the intensity and fluence of solar energetic particle events. We will develop a stakeholder community for valuable feedback and deliver the results in a form accessible to the public. The project will deliver a space weather forecasting capability that will continue beyond the lifetime of the project and which will lay the foundation for an operational system.

14   17:33   COMESEP: Forecasting the Space Weather Impact
Crosby, Norma1; Veronig, Astrid2; Robbrecht, Eva3; Vrsnak, Bojan4; Vennerstrom, Susanne5; Malandraki, Olga6; Dalla, Silvia7; Farrugia, Charlie8
1Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, BELGIUM;
2University of Graz, AUSTRIA;
3Royal Observatory of Belgium, BELGIUM;
4Hvar Observatory, CROATIA;
5Technical University of Denmark, DENMARK;
6National Observatory of Athens, GREECE;
7University of Central Lancashire, UNITED KINGDOM;
8The University of New Hampshire, UNITED STATES

The COronal Mass Ejections and Solar Energetic Particles (COMESEP) project will develop tools for forecasting geomagnetic storms and solar energetic particle (SEP) radiation storms. The tools will be incorporated into an automated operational European Space Weather Alert system. By analysis of historical data, complemented by the extensive data coverage of solar cycle 23, the key ingredients that lead to magnetic storm and SEP events and the factors that are responsible for false alarms will be identified. To enhance our understanding of the 3D kinematics and interplanetary propagation of CMEs, the structure, propagation and evolution of CMEs will be investigated. In parallel, the sources and propagation of SEPs will be examined and modeled. Based on the insights gained, and making use of algorithms for the automated detection of CMEs, forecasting tools for geomagnetic and SEP radiation storms will be developed and optimised. Validation and implementation of the produced tools into an operational Space Weather Alert system will be performed.

15   17:42   FP7 Project SWIFF - Space Weather Integrated Forecasting Framework
Lapenta, Giovanni
Catholic University Leuven, BELGIUM

We address two fundamental issues in space weather: 1) development of a integrated framework for the physics modelling of space weather, 2) study of methods and software to address the linkage (coupling) between different physics and processes developing simultaneously or in cascade. We propose a plan that starts from the fundamental physics of the space weather processes and designs, first, mathematical models best suited to accurately represent such processes, proceeds to develop computational algorithms target to the models at hand and finally implements a common integrated software infrastructure to make space weather forecasting possible.
We organise our plan around a common multiphysics and multiscale work package, and 3 additional work packages designed to address the three main sources of linkages: the couplings at the Sun, in space and at the Earth. The main characteristic of our approach is to consider the physics first rather than the existing models. We will not piece together ill fitting existing pieces as one might be tempted to do. Instead, we will use the best knowledge available so far to design the best fitting model and software. We intend to take no shortcuts, we want to develop a sound and solid basis for space weather forecasting, to form the equivalent of what is now commonplace in regular meteorological models.
The proposing team covers all aspects of the evolution of space weather events from the Sun to the effects on the Earth and includes experts with proven track record in the business of making space weather forecasts. We have extensive experience in the supercomputing facilities needed for space weather forecasting possible. We have experts on software development, on space weather modelling. and on the observations needed to help design the models and to test the results in a rigorous verification and validation approach. Our teams cover also geographically diverse areas of Europe and both founding and recent members of the EU.

16   17:51   Space Weather Research in Ukraine
Parnowski, Aleksei1; Korepanov, Valeriy2; Cheremnykh, Oleg1
1Space Research Institute NASU & NSAU, UKRAINE;
2L'viv Center of Space Research Institute NASU & NSAU, UKRAINE

A review of recent Ukrainian Space Weather research activities is presented. The main topics include solar physics, magnetospheric physics, ionospheric and atmospheric physics, space weather forecasting and developement of scientific instrumentation. A status report on major Ukrainian space weather projects is also given.