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Space Surveillance and Tracking Services - Atmosphere Estimates for Drag Calculation


Atmospheric neustral densityprovided by UK Met Office.

The service "Space Surveillance and Tracking Services - Atmosphere Estimates for Drag Calculation" aims to provide estimates of atmospheric density. The estimates include high altitude atmospheric density estimate for the past year, atmospheric density forecast and relevant environmental data for the user to compute drag of spacecraft below 1500 km altitude. These are specific forecasts and prior estimates of thermospheric total neutral density in the altitude range 120 – 1500 km. Additionally, this service provides indices and forecasts of geomagnetic and solar activity. It also provides ionospheric forecasting and archive.

This service addresses the needs of space surveillance and tracking users. This includes primarily the users of surveillance and tracking centre(s), stations and services, spacecraft operators (also spacecraft operators service domain), collision warning services and re-entry risk assessment services.

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.

The service is implemented through the following set of assets:

  • Atmospheric Density Estimates for SST users (ATMDEN) provided by UK MetOffice;
  • Nowcast and Forecast of Geomagnetic and Solar Activity Indices for SST users (FORIND) provided by the Romanian Institute of Space Science (ISS);
  • Archive of solar and geomagnetic indices (SGIArv) provided by Space Research Centre Polish Academy of Sciences (SRC);
  • Space Weather bulltetin of the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) provided by the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB);
  • Forecast of geomagnetic index provided by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF Lund);
  • COMESEP alert of geomagnetic storm provided by the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB);
  • Geomagnetic storm alert and prediction provided by Universidad de Alcalá (UAH);
  • SPENVIS Atmospheric and ionospheric models provided by ESA;
  • Geomagnetic index provided by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ);
  • Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC) provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR);
  • European Ionosonde Service (EIS) provided by National Observatory of Athens (NOA);
  • Swarm Utilisation Analysis (SUA) provided by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).

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

Overview

The interaction between satellite and Earth's upper atmosphere over a long period of time can significantly modify the satellite orbit. Therefore, atmospheric density models are required in the computation of the atmospheric drag force to support the determination and prediction of satellite orbits. This service provides estimates of neutral density based on an atmospheric model.

The neutral density fields are based on the semi-empirical model DTM2013, which uses solar and geomagnetic indices as input proxies of thermospheric heating. The atmospheric density service uses the following indices from ESA SWE Service Network as input to the DTM2013 model.

Solar index:

  • Forecast (FORIND): F30 Index Forecast Absolute 30-day (CLS)
  • Measured (SGIArv): F30 (absolute)

Geomagnetic index:

  • Forecast (FORIND): ap Index Forecast 3-day (BGS), Ap Index Forecast 27-day (BGS)
  • Measured (SGIArv): Definitive Ap index

Application

These services are expected to be used by a variety of users including:

  • Academics investigating and modelling the upper atmosphere
  • Commercial satellite operators
  • ESA/ESOC/SSA SST segment/Space Debris Office and Flight Dynamics
  • Third party service providers

These all feed into a wider issue of risk management for flight dynamics teams.

Key Products

Atmospheric Density Estimates for SST user (ATMDEN)

The data products provide 3D characterisation of the neutral atmosphere thorough the provision of global horizontal data-layers (2D) at a given time. The atmospheric density products consist of neutral density fields covering:

  • 3 Day forecast (based on forecast 3-hourly ap index and F30)
  • 27 Day forecast (based on forecast daily Ap and F30)
  • 12 month (prior) estimate (based on measured Ap and F30)

The atmospheric density maps are calculated at the following altitude levels: 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 220, 240, 260, 280, 300, 350, 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, 700, 800, 1000, 1500 km.

Contact

For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk

The following products are associated with this service:

Atmospheric neutral density

Neutral Density and Wind
  • Total Density 1-3 Day Forecast
     ATMDEN
  • Total Density 1-27 Day Forecast
     ATMDEN
  • SPENVIS Atmospheric and ionospheric models

Geomagnetic indices, forecast and archive

Geomagnetic Indices Kp and K
  • Provisional AA indices
  • Most recent definitive Kp index
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
  • Short term (1 hour) Kp forecast
     TGO
  • Forecast of Kp
     IRF
  • Kp - planetary three-hour magnetic index archive
     SGIArv
  • Kp 3-hour Index Forecast 3-day
     FORIND
  • Wing 3-hour Kp Index Forecast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • Kp, K, Ap, A, Dst archives on SEDAT
     SEDAT
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin
Geomagnetic Index Ap and A
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
  • 27 day global forecast issued every 24 hours
     TGO
  • Ap - planetary daily magnetic index archive
     SGIArv
  • 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
  • ap index Forecast 3-day/BGS
     FORIND
  • Kp, K, Ap, A, Dst archives on SEDAT
     SEDAT
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin
Geomagnetic Index Dst
  • SolarHoldover
     UAH
  • Forecast of Dst
     IRF
  • Total Density Prior Estimate
     ATMDEN
  • Dst Index Nowcast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • Dst Index Forecast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • Kp, K, Ap, A, Dst archives on SEDAT
     SEDAT
  • COMESEP Geomagnetic storm forecast

Solar activity, forecast and indices

International Sunspot number
  • R - sunspot number archive
     SGIArv
  • Sunspot Number Nowcast 1-day
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast SC 12-month
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast CM 12-month
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast ISM 12-month
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast ICM 12-month
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast IMLM 12-month
     FORIND
  • Sunspot Number Forecast multi-year
     FORIND
  • SIDC/SILSO Sunspot number forecast
Solar Microwave Index (F10.7)
  • F10.7 Index Forecast 27-day/BGS
     FORIND
  • F10.7 Index Forecast multi-year
     FORIND
  • F10.7 Index Forecast 27-day/SWPC
     FORIND
  • F10.7 Index Forecast 45-day
     FORIND
  • F10.7 Index Forecast 30-day Absolute
     FORIND
  • F10.7 Index Forecast 30-day Adjusted
     FORIND
  • SIDC 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)

    Other indices

    Ionospheric Index (IG12)
    • Ionospheric IG index archive
       SGIArv
    • Sunspot Number Forecast multi-year
       FORIND
    Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
    • IMF - Interplanetary magnetic field archive
       SGIArv

    Ionospheric density, forecast and archive

    Vertical Total Electron Content Map
    • TEC map (Europe), 1hr forecast
       IMPC
    • TEC map (Global), 1hr forecast
       IMPC
    • Near-real-time TEC maps for the European region
       EIS
    • TEC and Err(TEC) 6-hour forecast modelled maps
       ISM
    • TEC and Err(TEC) 6h forecast modelled values at a given location
       ISM
    • Swarm Total Electron Content (TEC)
       SUA
    3D Electron Density Grids
    • Swarm electron density (Ne)
       SUA

    Tools associated with this service:

    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 statistical products tool allows the calculation of statistial parameters and event lists based on long time series of data such as solar wind parameters.

    Archive of solar and geomagnetic activity indices for thermospheric drag calculation.

    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