About Space Weather

The space radiation environment can vary by a factor of 100,000 on a timescale as short as 2 minutes.  These “space weather” variations can cause damage to satellites resulting in service outage and in some cases total satellite loss.  The web pages here provide a real-time situation awareness of the space radiation environment to help Satellite Operators, Space Insurers and Satellite Design and Construction Companies mitigate the effects of adverse space weather.  They can be used to help prevent service interruption, to investigate the cause of satellite anomalies resulting in service outage or damage, and to help assess the radiation environment for satellites in orbits where there is little or no data available.

Theses web pages were developed as part of the research effort in the Space Weather and Atmosphere Programme at the British Antarctic Survey.  The web pages are an adaptation of our basic research, and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

We would like to pay a special thanks to Daniel Heynderickx of DH Consultancy, Leuven, Belgium, who developed the original system of data collection and display as part of the SPACECAST project, and John Isles, Roger Duthie and Pete Kirsch who have developed the system further at BAS.  We also thank Dave Pitchford at SES Luxembourg and David Wade at Atrium Space Insurance London for their advice on satellite operations, anomalies and user needs.

 

Acknowledgements

The system of data display and forecasting uses data from many sources.  We thank

  • The ACE satellite team, for providing plasma and magnetic field data on the solar wind
  • The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), for real-time data from the GOES and POES satellites
  • The Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Lund, for providing forecasts of the Kp and Dst indices
  • The British Geological Survey, for providing an estimated Kp magnetic index in near real-time
  • The Regional Warning Centre, Kyoto, for the preliminary and quick look Dst index
  • The Helmholdz Centre, Potsdam, for providing an archive of the Kp index
  • The National Geophysical Data Centre for providing an archive of the Dst index
  • The European Space Agency for use of their open data interface
  • The US Geological Survey for providing the AE index in near real-time