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Spacecraft Operation - In-orbit environment and effects monitoring





Near-real-time (NRT) observations during the past 5 days giving an overview of space environment conditions
(from top to bottom): PROBA-2/LYRA intensities in the Al and Zr channels providing solar flare observation
DSCOVR solar wind pressure and speed, Bt and Bz, GOES >10 MeV proton flux (primary and secondary
detectors), GOES >2 MeV electron flux (primary and secondary detectors), and Integral/SREM proton
count rate (43-86 MeV).

The service "Spacecraft Operation - In-orbit environment and effects monitoring" aims to provide a near-real-time estimate of the space environment and its effects actually experienced in regard to the operation of the spacecraft. To obtain a near-real-time quantitative assessment of the space environment, the SSA SWE network provides monitoring of phenomena that can lead to potentially hazardous and sudden effects on spacecraft (e.g. magnetic storms, substorms, high-speed streams, solar energetic particle events, Earth-directed CMEs, meteor streams, and debris clouds). This continuous real-time monitoring of the space weather environment provides the relevant information to take informed decisions related to spacecraft operations and helps with the correlation of results in future analysis. Real-time data allows the system to provide forecast and near-real-time assessment of the effects of ionospheric disturbances on spacecraft operations, nowcast and forecast of meteoroid and space debris fluxes (including streams and debris clouds), as well as the atmospheric data (properties) required for drag calculation on Earth, Mars, Venus and other relevant planets.

The service is intended for personnel such as spacecraft operators who monitor the space weather conditions and provide real-time assessment of space weather risk (e.g. SEE, ESD, errors in magnetorquing and sudden drag-induced orbit changes in LEO) to spacecraft.

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.


A set of models and in-orbit sensor datasets are provided with the help of tools and products such as

  • the Space Environment Data System (SEDAT) allows engineering analyses to be carried out on datasets related to the spacecraft charged particle environments;
  • the Energetic Particle Telescope (EPT) on PROBA-V provides measurements of energetic electrons, protons and helium fluxes at LEO orbit;
  • the Standard Radiation Environment Monitors (SREM) on PROBA-1, Integral and Rosetta provide measurements of the particle radiation environment;
  • the Space Weather Data Browsing and Analysis (SWE Data) provides access to space weather environment data.


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


ESA mission operations centre, ESOC Darmstadt, Germany (© ESA)

Throughout its existence, the Sun goes through various nonstationary active and nonequilibrium (often eruptive) processes; this can be broadly regarded as solar activity. Solar activity covers solar surface magnetic activity, eruptive phenomena, interplanetary transients, geomagnetic disturbances, and phenomena that may affect the functioning of spacecraft. For this reason spacecraft and solar activity are monitored 24/7 by spacecraft operators.

From the Products tab, a range of products can be accessed that are useful for spacecraft operators. Measurements and detection of solar flares and coronal mass ejections are available from the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) and the Kanzelhöhe Observatory (KSO). The SIDC also provides a daily space weather bulletin. Energetic particle flux measurements (electrons, protons and helium) from the Energetic Particle Telescope (EPT) on board PROBA-V can be accessed. Daily radiation situation reports comparing the measurements from several Standard Radiation Environment Monitors (SREM) in various key regions with reference particle rates are provided. A number of other particle radiation measurements are available through the Space Environment Data System (SEDAT) as well. Nowcast for Kp and Ap indices are provided by the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory (TGO) and GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ). Information on the current and nowcasted ionospheric, thermospheric and atmospheric conditions is provided through several monitoring centres and facilities, like the Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC), the Real-Time Ionosphere Monitor (RTIM), the European Ionosonde Service (EIS), the Ionosphere Monitoring Facility (IONMON), Service Supporting Resource Exploitation System Operators (RESOSS) and TGO. A large set of measurements can also be accessed through the Space Weather Data Browsing and Analysis (SWE Data) web interface.

For further information, please contact the SSCC Help-desk

Solar Activity: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

Solar Disc Magnetic Fields
Smoothed Sunspot Number (SSN, R12)
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
10.7cm Solar Radio Flux (F10.7)
Solar X-ray Flux
  • GOES/SEM X-Ray Sensor datasets on SEDAT
Solar EUV Integrated Flux
  • Proba2/LYRA Latest data
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
Solar UV Flux

Solar Activity: Nowcasts

Solar Flares
  • UGraz/KSO Latest Solar flare detections
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
CMEs
  • SIDC/CACTus Automated near-real-time CME detection
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Coronal Holes
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Disc Magnetic Fields
International Sunspot number
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
Smoothed Sunspot Number (SSN, R12)
10.7cm Solar Radio Flux (F10.7)
Solar EUV Index (S10.7)
Solar EUV Index (E10.7)
Solar FUV Index (M10.7)
Solar X-ray & UV Index (Y10.7)
Ionospheric Index (IG12)
Solar X-ray Flux
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
Solar EUV Integrated Flux
Solar UV Flux

Interplanetary Medium at L1: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

High Energy >10 MeV Protons
High Energy >10 MeV/nuc Ions
  • ACE/SIS dataset on SEDAT
1-10 MeV Protons
1-10 MeV/nuc Ions
0.03-1 MeV/nuc Ions
2-50 MeV Solar Electrons
30 keV-8 MeV Electrons
Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
Solar Wind Bulk Density

Interplanetary Medium at L1: Nowcasts

High Energy >10 MeV Protons
High Energy >10 MeV/nuc Ions
1-10 MeV Protons
1-10 MeV/nuc Ions
0.03-1 MeV/nuc Ions
2-50 MeV Solar Electrons
30 keV-8 MeV Electrons
Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)

Interplanetary Medium Outside L1: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

Solar Energetic Particle Events
Interplanetary Medium Data

Interplanetary Medium Outside L1: Nowcasts

Solar Energetic Particle Events
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Interplanetary Medium Data

Magnetospheric Environment: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

High Energy >10 MeV/nuc Ions
  • PROBA-V/EPT Helium flux spectra time series
     EPT
  • GOES/SEM-EPS datasets on SEDAT
  • POES/SEM-2 dataset on SEDAT
1-10 MeV Protons
  • GOES/SEM-EPS datasets on SEDAT
1-10 MeV/nuc Ions
  • GOES/SEM-EPS datasets on SEDAT
0.03-1 MeV/nuc Ions
  • POES/SEM-2 dataset on SEDAT
30 keV-8 MeV Electrons
  • PROBA-V/EPT Electron flux spectra time series
     EPT
  • PROBA-1/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • Integral/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • GOES/SEM-EPS datasets on SEDAT
  • PROBA-1/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Integral/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • POES/SEM-2 dataset on SEDAT
Thermal and Supra-thermal Electron and Ion Energy Spectra
Thermal Ions Density and Temperature
Plasma Drift Velocity

Magnetospheric Environment: Nowcasts

Geomagnetic Storm Condition
  • Swarm Polar Electrojet (PEJ)
     SUA
Geomagnetic Indices Kp and K
  • Provisional K-indices from Northwest Europe
     TGO
  • Quicklook Kp index
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Geomagnetic Index Ap and A
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Geomagnetic Index Dst
High Energy >10 MeV Protons
High Energy >10 MeV/nuc Ions
1-10 MeV Protons
1-10 MeV/nuc Ions
0.03-1 MeV/nuc Ions
30 keV-8 MeV Electrons
  • Near-Earth NRT energetic particles (GOES)
Thermal and Supra-thermal Electron and Ion Energy Spectra
Thermal Ions Density and Temperature

Ionospheric, Thermospheric and Atmospheric Conditions: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

Vertical Total Electron Content Map
  • Swarm Total Electron Content (TEC)
     SUA
URSI Ionospheric Parameters
  • Nowcast European maps of foF2
     EIS
Neutral Density in Thermosphere
Neutral Wind Velocity in Thermosphere
Scintillation Indices and Parameters
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Kiruna
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Neustrelitz
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Svalbard
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Tenerife
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Toulouse
     IMPC
  • S4 maps (Northern Europe)
     RTIM
  • σφ maps (Northern Europe)
     RTIM
  • S4 and Err(S4) nowcast modelled maps
     ISM
  • SigmaPhi and Err(SigmaPhi) nowcast modelled maps
     ISM
Atomic Oxygen Density
Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Magnetogrammes from North(west) Europe and Greenland
     TGO
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for geomagnetic surveying (total field)
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for directional drilling (total field, declination and inclination)
Neutral Density and Wind

Ionospheric, Thermospheric and Atmospheric Conditions: Nowcasts

Vertical Total Electron Content Map
  • TEC map (Europe), current
     IMPC
  • TEC map (Global), current
     IMPC
  • VTEC maps (Northern Europe)
     RTIM
  • IONMON TEC maps
  • Near-real-time TEC maps for the European region
     EIS
  • TEC and Err(TEC) nowcast modelled maps
     ISM
  • TEC and Err(TEC) nowcast modelled values at a given location
     ISM
URSI Ionospheric Parameters
  • Nowcast European maps of foF2
     EIS
Neutral Density in Thermosphere
Neutral Wind Velocity in Thermosphere
Scintillation Indices and Parameters
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Kiruna
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Neustrelitz
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Svalbard
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Tenerife
     IMPC
  • Local scintillation indices S4 & σφ Toulouse
     IMPC
  • S4 maps (Northern Europe)
     RTIM
  • σφ maps (Northern Europe)
     RTIM
  • S4 and Err(S4) nowcast modelled maps
     ISM
  • SigmaPhi and Err(SigmaPhi) nowcast modelled maps
     ISM
  • S4 and Err(S4) nowcast modelled values at a given location
     ISM
  • SigmaPhi and Err(SigmaPhi) nowcast modelled values at a given location
     ISM
  • S4 observed map as quality data for ISM S4 nowcast modelled maps
  • SigmaPhi observed map as quality data for ISM SigmaPhi nowcast modelled maps
Atomic Oxygen Density
Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Magnetogrammes from North(west) Europe and Greenland
     TGO
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for geomagnetic surveying (total field)
  • Real-time and historic geomagnetic activity plots and data files for directional drilling (total field, declination and inclination)
Neutral Density and Wind

Microparticle Environment: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

Micro Particle Flux

Microparticle Environment: Nowcasts

Micro Particle Flux
Known Periods/events of Increased Microparticle Flux

Spacecraft Effects and Anomalies: Data Archives

Anomalies on Spacecraft Equipment

Spacecraft Effects and Anomalies: (Near-) Real-time Measurements

Spacecraft Radiation Monitors
  • PROBA-1/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • Integral/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • PROBA-1/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Integral/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Integral/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Radiation environment inside ISS
Spacecraft Housekeeping Telemetry
Deep Dielectric Charging
Surface Charging
Floating Spacecraft Potential

Spacecraft Effects and Anomalies: Nowcasts

Orbital Data of Spacecraft Carrying Space Weather Instruments
Deep Dielectric Charging
Surface Charging
Floating Spacecraft Potential

SEDAT (Space Environment Data System) is a tool for the engineering analysis of spacecraft charged particle environments. The facility provides access to the ODI database containing a large and comprehensive set of data about that environment as measured in-situ by a number of space missions. The user can select a set of space environment data appropriate to the engineering problem under study. SEDAT also offers a set of software tools, which can operate on the data retrieved from the database. These tools allow the user to carry out a wide range of engineering analyses. SEDAT is using a GUI written in Java.

The Space Environment Information System for Operations (SEISOP) provides an interface for spacecraft operators allowing comparison of space environment information with spacecraft housekeeping data. The combination of these different data types enables advanced correlation and analysis, for a better understanding of how Space Weather effects impact the status and health of the operator's spacecraft. In addition to presenting data originating from diverse external data providers, SEISOP provides several built-in Space Weather models for near-real-time forecasting of Space Weather events and alerting.

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.

No alerts are associated with this service.

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

  • ECSS-E-ST-10-04C Space environment (15 November 2008)
  • ECSS-E-HB-10-12A Calculation of radiation and its effects and margin policy handbook (issued on 17 December 2010)