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CDF Study Report on Space Weather:

Three elements Monitoring the Solar-Terrestrial Environment as Part of a Service

Following on from the two parallel ESA Space Weather Programme Feasibility Studies, ESA has carried out an additional study to consider possible elements of a future space segment for an operational, service oriented, European space weather system. The study was carried out using ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF). It's main starting points were the space and ground segment recommendations proposed by the two consortia taking part in the feasibility studies.

Both consortia proposed several interesting options for a space weather system. As a result, it was decided that some of the proposed options should be analysed and further developed by ESA through the CDF, to establish their feasibility and cost. While a comprehensive space weather system should include elements beyond those studied by CDF, following consultation with the consortia, it was decided to study the following demonstrator elements:

  • an element for continuous monitoring of solar features which are important in ultimately causing space weather hazards near and on the Earth,
  • an element for continuously monitoring the solar wind upstream of the Earth and
  • a fleet of inner magnetospheric monitoring spacecraft which would observe changes taking place within the terrestrial radiation belts, the amgetosphere and partly the ionosphere

The study was conducted between October and December 2001. A copy of the final report can be downloaded here (13MB!).

For more information about the CDF see their website. A paper describing the CDF (EuSEC 2000 proceedings) is also available.