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ESA SSA SWE Service Page Mockup: NSO/pow

Non-Space System Operation - Service to power systems operators


Current image from the product dB/dt forecast.
30-minute maximum forecast for
the rate of change of the magnetic field.

For power grid operators the major challenge caused by space weather is the geomagnetically induced currents (GIC). In technological conductor systems GIC are caused by rapid variations of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt). They can disturb the normal operation of the systems, for example, by creating transformer saturation in power grids. In the worst case, GIC can even lead to blackouts or transformer damages in high-voltage power grids. Real-time monitoring of GIC can be based on ground magnetic field recordings from which GIC can be modelled in power grids. Short-term forecast is based on the modelled rate of changes of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt), which is closely related to GIC.

This service is implemented through a combination of products, tools and alerts which can be found through the following tabs along with expert support provided by the teams constituting the SWE Network. Should you require further guidance in the use of this service, or have specific questions about any aspects of the service presented here, don't hesitate to contact the Helpdesk.


This service page is curated by the ESC Geomagnetic Conditions. For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk

GIC are determined by using near real-time ground magnetic field recordings and models of specific conductor systems. The purpose of this service is to give a general overview of GIC activity.

The products for interplanetary medium at L1 give forecasts and real-time data for solar wind properties. The products for Earth magnetosphere include geomagnetic indices that as such provide information on the current geomagnetic conditions. To assess in more detail the magnitude of possible disturbances in power grids, the products for Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field include maps for power and pipeline operators mainly for the scandinavian sector. As the regional measure, the sum of GIC at all substations of a power grid is used. This value is considered to be large when it exceeds a threshold corresponding to the top 0.1% of all values in long-term statistics. This is indicated in the plots by red colour. GIC in the natural gas pipeline are basically modelled in the same way as in power grids. Its measured value is also shown.

The following quantities are shown on interactive maps via the FMI product link for the previous hour: the interpolated ground magnetic field and its rate of change, and the modelled geoelectric field. Additionally, snap shot maps illustrate the time step at which the GIC sum reached its largest value within the latest 24 hours. For the magnetic field, these maps also show measured values. There are specific points to be understood when using this service:

  • The models of the power grids do not describe the exact present configurations.
  • The ground conductivity models for calculating the geoelectric field are approximate.
  • However, the use of fixed models of the grids and of the ground conductivity ensures that GIC activity is characterised in a meaningful, quantitative way. In other words, if this service indicates a high GIC level in the demo grids then large GIC occur in the true grids too.

The service also includes regional products focussing on mid-latitudes. The Local Current index for Spain provides an indication of regional geoloeletric disturbances that can be used as proxy for GICs. This product is connected to a colour-coded scale that facilitates the communication of the results in terms of levels of disturbance. Users can also subscribe for geomagnetic disturbance alerts and regional reports via the University of Alcalá (UAH) product link.

Interplanetary medium at L1

Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-minute
     FORIND
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF
  • Solar wind speed forecast (STEREO-A persistence model)
     STA+CH
  • AWARE_NEXT Enhanced 24 hour solar wind forecast
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)

Earth magnetosphere

Geomagnetic Storm Condition
  • Swarm Polar Electrojet (PEJ)
     SUA
  • Swarm Field-Aligned Current (FAC)
     SUA
Geomagnetic Indices Kp and K
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
  • Kp Index Nowcast 3-hour/GFZ
     FORIND
  • Kp Index Nowcast 3-hour/BGS
     FORIND
  • Kp 3-hour Index Forecast 3-day
     FORIND
  • Wing 3-hour Kp Index Forecast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • Wing 3-hour Kp Index Forecast 4-hour
     FORIND
  • Largest Kp Index Forecast 27-day
     FORIND
  • Provisional K-indices from Northwest Europe
     TGO
  • Short term (1 hour) Kp forecast
     TGO
  • Quicklook Kp index
     GFZ
  • Most recent definitive Kp index
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
  • Forecast of Kp
     IRF
  • Provisional AA indices
Geomagnetic Index Ap and A
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
  • ap index Nowcast 3-hour/BGS
     FORIND
  • ap index Nowcast 3-hour/GFZ
     FORIND
  • ap index Nowcast 1-day/BGS
     FORIND
  • ap index Nowcast 1-day/SWPC
     FORIND
  • ap index Nowcast 1-day/GFZ
     FORIND
  • ap index Forecast 27-day
     FORIND
  • ap index Forecast 3-day/SWPC
     FORIND
  • ap index Forecast 27-day/SWPC
     FORIND
  • ap index Forecast 45-day
     FORIND
  • 27 day global forecast issued every 24 hours
     TGO
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
Local Magnetospheric Magnetic Field in Orbit
  • Swarm Vector Magnetic Field (MAG)
     SUA
AZ index
  • Geomagnetic activity index for auroral zone (AZ), last 33 days
     TGO
  • 27 day local forecast issued every 24 hours
  • Next 24 hours and next 24-48 hours local forecast issued every hour
AZ index, long term variation
  • Geomagnetic activity index for auroral zone (AZ), long term variation
     TGO
Local geomagnetic forecast
  • Short term (1 hour) local geomagnetic forecast
     TGO

Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment

Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Magnetogrammes from North(west) Europe and Greenland
     TGO
  • LDiñ
     UAH
  • LCiñ
     UAH
  • Forecasts of dB/dt
     IRF
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for geomagnetic surveying (total field)
     RESOSS
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for directional drilling (total field, declination and inclination)
     RESOSS
Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field
  • Maps for power and pipeline operators
     FMI
  • Table of modelled GIC
     FMI
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV)
     FMI

SWE Data is a web application that provides access to a wide range of Space Weather related data sources covering the areas of the spacecraft, ionospheric, and ground effects. SWE Data allows the user to access all data contained in the repository providing analysis and visualisation tools from these disparate sources.

The following alert is associated with this service:

Geomagnetic Storm Onset

SIDC Latest human moderated alert

SolarHeed

 UAH

No preview available

UAH-SWE Subscription

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel G

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel C

 UAH

No preview available

UAH-SWE Report

 UAH

No preview available

E-mail alerts for geomagnetic disturbances

 RESOSS

No preview available

This section provides links to web pages or resources that are not part of the SSA Space Weather Network or esa.int domain. These sites are not under ESA control, and therefore ESA is not responsible for any of the information or links that you may find there.  

Reference documents