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The ESA Space Weather Programme Feasibility Studies [1999-2001]

In 1999, ESA awarded two parallel contracts to consortia led by

  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (UK) and
  • Alcatel Space (France).

These studies performed wide-ranging analyses of the need for a European space weather programme and the possible content of such a programme. The specific activities included:

  • analysis of space weather effects
  • analysis of requirements of a space weather system
  • definition of a service including prototyping of aspects of the services
  • definition of the space segment
  • analysis of programmatic and organisational issues

Public Documents produced by these studies are available here.

In addition, the Space Weather Working Team (SWWT) was created from a group of approximately 30 European experts in a variety of both scientific and application oriented fields relating to space weather. The team met regularly throught the study period in order to assess progress and ensure that both consortia were exposed to as many European activities that could be of value to a European space weather programme as possible.

Following completion of these studies, ESA 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. More information and a copy of the CDF report can be downloaded here.


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