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Spacecraft Operations - Space Weather in the Solar System


Latest WSA-ENLIL MHD solar wind forecast output showing density and velocity in the
ecliptic plane (left) a latitudinal cut along the Sun-Earth line (middle) and density (top)
and speed (bottom) timelines for Earth and the two STEREO spacecraft.

The service "Spacecraft Operations - Space Weather in the Solar System Space" provides forecasts, nowcasts and alerts related to space weather in the heliosphere. The service is aimed at solar system mission operators who require information, at locations away from the Earth, in order to make informed decisions on the planning and execution of spacecraft operations.
The initial focus has been on the assessment of solar wind and solar wind transient propagation within the heliosphere. Forecasts are primarily based upon models driven by remote observations of the Sun and corona. Access to historical mission data provides additional context upon which to base operational decisions. Future developments are expected to extend the support for assessment of SEPs and extension of the solar wind modelling beyond the orbit of Mars.

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 forecaster commentary provided in the HELSWE product provides an assessment of CME arrival time for the currently selected set of solar system targets (currently mercury, Venus and Mars).
  • The forecaster commentary provided in the SELSWE product provides a more detailed assessment of space weather along the Sun-Earth line, in particular drawing upon in-situ data at L1 and in Earth orbit.
  • The Drag-Based Model (DBM) tool provides predictions of the interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) travel and its arrival at an arbitrary ecliptic-plane location or at already listed planets and satellites in ecliptic-plane orbits.
  • The propagation tool provides supports the assessment of CME/CIR and SEP arrival times at planets, spacecraft and other solar system objects such as comets. It supports the tracking of heliospheric structures using white light J-maps and has access to catalogues of CME/CIR trajectories.

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

 

Heliospheric Weather encompasses the effects of the solar wind, including the transient structures therein, as they propagate out from the Sun's corona through the heliosphere. This includes heliospheric effects that directly influence the Earth and also other locations within the heliosphere that may be relevant to interplanetary exploration missions.

For spacecraft operations within the solar system, the solar wind and CME forecasts and forecaster commentaries provide the short and medium term assessment of the conditions which are likely to prevail and should be considered when assessing operations activities. In particular, the current products provide information on the potential for high speed solar wind streams and for the arrival of CMEs and SIRs in the vicinity of a spacecraft. The human forecaster augmented products and commentaries provide a good starting point for assessing the prevailing and likely conditions at near-Earth (SELSWE) and a selected set of Heliospheric locations (currently Mercury, Venus and Mars; HELSWE). The DBM model allows the user to undertake their own quick assessment of CME propagation taking account of CME launch characteristics and heliospheric drag conditions.

Due to the lack of near-real-time in-situ plasma measurements away from the near-Earth (and L1), real-time alerting is limited to warnings resulting from model predictions and the heliospheric region near to the Earth. The best estimates of conditions at these locations is from the forecasts. Use of Nowcasts at L1 may be useful to assess the current accuracy of the forecast models and when considering co-rotating structures.

Additional contextual information is available from the archive products and may help to assess operational activities based on previous measurements. The AMDA tool allows data mining of a broad range of scientific data from current and recent space missions.

Caveats

Users should be aware that the accuracy of forecasts away from the Sun-Earth line is expected to be reduced due to the additional uncertainties (such as propagation direction) and evolution of features (compared to their identification and characterisation from a Sun-Earth line perspective).

For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk

The products provided for this service are split into forecast and nowcast for three physical domains consisting of 1) Solar Activity; 2) Interplanetary Medium at L1; and 3) Interplanetary Medium Outside L1. Access to archive and reconstructed products from these physical domains and related alerts are also provided. The Solar activity provides the driver for space weather effects within the solar system and on planetary environments. The L1 and Outside L1 products provide forecasts and nowcasts of the enviroment at those locations.

Solar Activity: Forecast

 

Solar Flares
  • SIDC Latest Solar flare forecast
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
  • A-EFFort Solar flare forecast
CMEs
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
CME propagation forecast
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
  • CME near-Earth arrival time predictions (DBM)
     DBM
  • Heliospheric propagation tool
  • Heliospheric CME arrival time predictions
  • Heliospheric space weather alerts
Coronal Holes
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
International Sunspot number
Smoothed Sunspot Number (SSN, R12)
10.7cm Solar Radio Flux (F10.7)
  • SIDC Latest 10.7cm Solar radio flux (F10.7) forecast
Solar EUV Index (S10.7)
Solar EUV Index (E10.7)
Solar FUV Index (M10.7)
Solar X-ray & UV Index (Y10.7)
Solar EUV Integrated Flux
Solar UV Flux
Long-term Solar Activity

Solar Activity: Nowcast

 

Solar Flares
  • UGraz/KSO Latest Solar flare detections
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
CMEs
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
  • SIDC/CACTus Automated near-real-time CME detection
CME propagation forecast
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
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)
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
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)
EUV Images of Sun
  • Proba2/SWAP Level 0 quicklook image
  • Proba2/SWAP Latest media level image
  • Proba2/SWAP Latest active region annotated image
  • SDO/AIA Latest Solar EUV images
  • SDO/AIA Latest 24h movie of Solar EUV images
White Light Solar Imaging
  • SIDC/USET Latest white light Solar images
  • UGraz/KSO Latest white light Solar images
  • INAF/OACT Latest white light Solar images
H-alpha Images of Sun
  • SIDC/USET Latest Halpha Solar images
  • UGraz/KSO Latest Halpha Solar images
  • INAF/OACT Latest Halpha Solar images
Soft X-ray Images of the Sun
Solar EUV Images Outside of Sun-Earth Line
Solar Coronagraphic Images Outside of Sun-Earth Line
Solar Far-side Maps (using helioseismology technique)
Ly-alpha Images
White-light wide-angle Coronagraph Images
Solar Radiospectrographic Observations
  • SIDC Humain Callisto latest Solar radio spectrograms
  • eCallisto Solar radio spectrograms
Solar X-ray Flux
  • GOES/SEM X-Ray Sensor datasets on SEDAT
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
Solar EUV Integrated Flux
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
  • Proba2/LYRA Latest data
Solar UV Flux
Heliospheric Imaging of Sun-Earth Line

Interplanetary Medium at L1: Forecast

 

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)
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil)
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil)
Solar Wind Temperature
Activity at L1

Interplanetary Medium at L1: Nowcast

 

High Energy >10 MeV Protons
  • Near-Earth NRT energetic particles (GOES)
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)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
Solar Wind Temperature
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
Activity at L1

Interplanetary Medium Outside L1: Forecast

 

CME propagation forecast
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
  • CME near-Earth arrival time predictions (DBM)
     DBM
  • Heliospheric propagation tool
  • Heliospheric CME arrival time predictions
  • Heliospheric space weather alerts
Solar Energetic Particle Events
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Interplanetary Medium Data
  • Heliospheric solar wind forecasts

Interplanetary Medium Outside L1: Nowcast

 

CME propagation forecast
  • Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)
Solar Energetic Particle Events
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Interplanetary Medium Data

Solar Activity: Data Archive

 

Solar Flares
  • UGraz/KSO Solar flare detection archive
  • SIDC Solar flare forecast archive
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
CMEs
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
  • SIDC/CACTus Automated near-real-time CME detection
CME propagation forecast
  • CME near-Earth arrival time predictions (DBM)
     DBM
  • Heliospheric propagation tool
  • H-ESC case study event request interface
  • H-ESC product assessment report
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mars [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mercury [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Venus [WSA-Enlil]
Coronal Holes
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
Solar Disc Magnetic Fields
International Sunspot number
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • R - sunspot number, archive
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
Smoothed Sunspot Number (SSN, R12)
  • SSN archive on SEDAT
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
  • SIDC/SILSO International sunspot number
10.7cm Solar Radio Flux (F10.7)
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • F10.7 -10.7 -cm radio flux proxy, archive
  • SIDC 10.7cm Solar radio flux (F10.7) forecast archive
Solar EUV Index (S10.7)
  • S10.7 -10.7 -cm radio flux proxy for solar EUV in solar flux units, archive
Solar EUV Index (E10.7)
Solar FUV Index (M10.7)
Solar X-ray & UV Index (Y10.7)
Ionospheric Index (IG12)
  • IG12 - 12-month-running mean of the ionospheric IG index, archive
EUV Images of Sun
  • Proba2/SWAP Level 0 quicklook image archive
  • Proba2/SWAP Media level image archive
  • Proba2/SWAP Active region annotated image archive
  • SDO/AIA Solar EUV image archive
White Light Solar Imaging
  • SIDC/USET White light Solar images archive
  • UGraz/KSO White light Solar images archive
  • INAF/OACT White light Solar images archive
H-alpha Images of Sun
  • SIDC/USET Halpha Solar images archive
  • UGraz/KSO Halpha Solar images archive
  • INAF/OACT Halpha Solar images archive
Soft X-ray Images of the Sun
Solar EUV Images Outside of Sun-Earth Line
Solar Coronagraphic Images Outside of Sun-Earth Line
Solar Far-side Maps (using helioseismology technique)
Ly-alpha Images
White-light wide-angle Coronagraph Images
Solar Radiospectrographic Observations
  • SIDC Humain Callisto Solar radio spectrogram archive
  • eCallisto Solar radio spectrograms archive
Solar X-ray Flux
  • GOES/SEM X-Ray Sensor datasets on SEDAT
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled data archive
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
Solar EUV Integrated Flux
  • Proba2/LYRA Data archive
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled data archive
  • Proba2/LYRA Rescaled latest data
Solar UV Flux
Long-term Solar Activity
Heliospheric Imaging of Sun-Earth Line

Interplanetary Medium at L1: Data Archive

 

High Energy >10 MeV Protons
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • SPENVIS Short-term solar particle models
  • SPENVIS Long-term solar particle models
  • SPENVIS Galactic cosmic ray models
  • Very high-energy solar energetic proton fluence
  • Very high-energy solar energetic proton peak flux
  • Solar very high-energy particle event catalogue
High Energy >10 MeV/nuc Ions
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • SPENVIS Short-term solar particle models
  • SPENVIS Long-term solar particle models
  • SPENVIS Galactic cosmic ray models
  • ACE/SIS dataset on SEDAT
  • Raw ACE/EPAM ions, e, He, O, Fe channels in SEPEM
  • Raw ACE/SEPICA data in SEPEM
1-10 MeV Protons
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • SPENVIS Galactic cosmic ray models
  • Raw ACE/SEPICA data in SEPEM
1-10 MeV/nuc Ions
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • SPENVIS Galactic cosmic ray models
  • Raw ACE/EPAM ions, e, He, O, Fe channels in SEPEM
  • Raw ACE/SEPICA data in SEPEM
0.03-1 MeV/nuc Ions
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • Raw ACE/EPAM ions, e, He, O, Fe channels in SEPEM
  • Raw ACE/SEPICA data in SEPEM
2-50 MeV Solar Electrons
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
30 keV-8 MeV Electrons
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • Raw ACE/EPAM ions, e, He, O, Fe channels in SEPEM
Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • IMF - Interplanetary magnetic field, archive
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [ESWF]
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
Solar Wind Temperature
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
Activity at L1

Interplanetary Medium Outside L1: Data Archive

 

CME propagation forecast
  • CME near-Earth arrival time predictions (DBM)
     DBM
  • Heliospheric propagation tool
  • H-ESC case study event request interface
  • H-ESC product assessment report
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mars [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mercury [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Venus [WSA-Enlil]
Solar Energetic Particle Events
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • HELIOS-A and HELIOS-B E6 and E7 datasets on SEDAT
  • Rosetta/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Herschel/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Planck/SREM dataset on SEDAT
  • Rosetta/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • Herschel/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • Planck/SREM radiation rates
     SREM
  • Raw ACE/SEPICA data in SEPEM
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
Interplanetary Medium Data
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mars [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Mercury [WSA-Enlil]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Venus [WSA-Enlil]
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • Statistical heliospheric long-term plasma products
  • AMPTE-UKS dataset on SEDAT
  • HELIOS-A and HELIOS-B E6 and E7 datasets on SEDAT

Alerts: Data Archive

 

Solar Flare Detection
  • UGraz/KSO Solar flare alert archive
  • SIDC Solar GOES-flare alert archive
  • SIDC Latest Solar GOES-flare alert
  • SIDC Human moderated alerts archive
Solar Flare Detection and Location
  • UGraz/KSO Solar flare alert archive
CME Onset
  • SIDC/CACTus Automated halo CME alert archive
  • SIDC/CACTus Latest automated halo CME alert
CIR Alert
  • Archive - Automated NRT Near Earth Alerts [AWARE]
  • SIDC Human moderated alerts archive
Geomagnetic Storm Warning / Solar Wind Shock Arrival
  • Archive - Automated NRT Near Earth Alerts [AWARE]

 

The tools that are currently provided support 1) The modelling of solar wind transients (such as CMEs) which can be used to help assess potential arrival at a particular heliospheric location; 2) Access to space environment tools that can help to predict the likely environment to be encounted; 3) Archive data mining;

The Drag-Based Model (DBM) tool provides predictions of the interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) travel and its arrival at an arbitrary ecliptic-plane location or at already listed planets and satellites in ecliptic-plane orbits. Calculations are based on the assumption that the dominant force in the heliospheric dynamics of ICMEs is the magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) equivalent of the aerodynamic drag (see Vrsnak et al., 2013, and references therein, doi: 10.1007/s1207-012-0035-4). The background solar wind is based on the assumption to be quasi-stationary, isotropic, and having a constant speed (Vrsnak and Zic, 2007, doi: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077499). From the approximations it follows that the drag-parameter is constant as well. Basically, for a given set of input parameters the model provides the ICME Sun-target impact speed (Vrsnak and Zic, 2007, doi: as above).

The propagation tool provides supports the assessment of CME/CIR and SEP arrival times at planets, spacecraft and other solar system objects such as comets. It supports the tracking of heliospheric structures using white light J-maps and has access to catalogues of CME/CIR trajectories. It is also connected to in-situ (AMDA) and imagery science data archives to assist with posteriori analysis

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.

SPENVIS (Space Environment Information System) is a web-based interface for assessing the space environment and its effects on spacecraft systems and crews. The system is used for mission analysis and planning. SPENVIS includes several empirical models of the space environment covering mainly cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, the natural radiation belts, magnetic fields, space plasmas and the upper atmosphere. A range of engineering models are also available to help assess the effects of the space environment on spacecraft such as surface and internal charging, energy deposition, solar cell damage and SEU rates. Usually these later models take their inputs from the empirical models present in SPENVIS. The system also includes extensive background information on the space environment, the environment models and the related standards.

SEPEM (Solar Energetic Particle Environment Modelling) is a WWW interface to solar energetic particle data and a range of modelling tools and functionalities intended to support space mission design. The system provides an implementation of several well known modelling methodologies, built on cleaned datasets. It also gives the user increased flexibility in his/her analysis and allows generation of mission integrated fluence statistics, peak flux statistics and other functionalities. It also integrates effects tools that calculate single event upset rates and radiation doses for a variety of scenarios.

The AMDA system provides an archive of planetary, solar wind, Earth magnetosphere and ionosphere mission and ground based products. In addition it supports a range of standard models such as magnetic footprints, magnetic fields, solar wind propagation to planets and probes as well as access to external databases of observations and simulations. A key functionality of the system is its embedded plotting, data mining and cataloguing functionalities which are extremely useful in relation to posteriori analysis.

The H-ESC product assessment report provides a monthly overview of the events identified during the interval and the accuracy with which they could be determined. Initially this activity is focused on CME arrival and solar wind speed forecasts.

The H-ESC product browser provides a quick way to review the H-ESC products as they were available at a specific time.

The H-ESC case study page provides support for undertaking case studies or reviews of historical events within the solar system weather domain. In addition to providing links to the relevant historical plot and science data archives it supplies information on requesting items from the H-ESC near-line archive (such as the full 3D WSA-Enlil output), or requesting dedicated WSA-Enlil case study runs.

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 alerts are relevant to the Space Weather in the Solar System service area. They provide alerts related to tranisent phenomena such as flares and CMEs. Within the heliospheric context the user should be aware that there are constraints on alerting for locations away from the Sun-Earth line due to the lack of NRT assets upon which to do the assessment.

Solar Flare Detection

UGraz/KSO Latest Solar flare alert

 

SIDC Latest Solar GOES-flare alert

 

SIDC Latest human moderated alert

 

Solar Flare Detection and Location

UGraz/KSO Latest Solar flare alert

 

CME Onset

Near-Earth CME arrival time predictions (WSA-Enlil)

No preview available

SIDC/CACTus Latest automated halo CME alert

 

CIR Alert

Automated WARnings of Earth arrivals

 

SIDC Latest human moderated alert

 

Geomagnetic Storm Warning / Solar Wind Shock Arrival

Near-Earth space weather alerts

No preview available

Automated WARnings of Earth arrivals

 

 

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

Currently there are no documents available under this section.