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ESA SSA SWE Service Page Mockup: NSO/pow

Non-Space System Operation - Service to power systems operators


Current image from the product dB/dt forecast.
30-minute maximum forecast for
the rate of change of the magnetic field.

For power grid operators the major challenge caused by space weather is the geomagnetically induced currents (GIC). In technological conductor systems GIC are caused by rapid variations of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt). They can disturb the normal operation of the systems, for example, by creating transformer saturation in power grids. In the worst case, GIC can even lead to blackouts or transformer damages in high-voltage power grids. Real-time monitoring of GIC can be based on ground magnetic field recordings from which GIC can be modelled in power grids. Short-term forecast is based on the modelled rate of changes of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt), which is closely related to GIC.

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.


This service page is curated by the ESC Geomagnetic Conditions. For further information, please contact SSCC Helpdesk

The products tailored for the power system operators mainly focus on the rate of change in the magnetic field and geomagnetically induced currents (GIC). GIC are determined by using near real-time ground magnetic field recordings and models of specific conductor systems.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provides maps for power and pipeline operators for part of the Scandinavian sector. The interpolated ground magnetic field and its rate of change, and the modelled geoelectric field. Additionally, snap shot maps illustrate the time step at which the GIC sum reached its largest value within the latest 24 hours. For the magnetic field, these maps also show measured values.

There are specific points to be understood when using this service:

  • The models of the power grids do not describe the exact present configurations.
  • The ground conductivity models for calculating the geoelectric field are approximate.
  • However, the use of fixed models of the grids and of the ground conductivity ensures that GIC activity is characterised in a meaningful, quantitative way. In other words, if this service indicates a high GIC level in the modelled grids then large GIC occur in the true grids too.

For UK the following products related to the service are provided by The British Geological Survey (BGS):

  • Geomagnetic activity alert
  • Peak and average GIC
  • The GIC index BGIC

For Greenland and Northern Europe the following products are provided by the Technical Univesity of Denmark (DTU):

  • GIC indicator plots (dB/dt)
  • A collection of magnetogrammes covering North Europe and Greenland.

For Spain and the surrounding area the following products are provided by University of Alcalá (UAH):

  • The Local Current index for Spain, which provides an indication of regional geoloeletric disturbances that can be used as proxy for GICs. This product is connected to a colour-coded scale that facilitates the communication of the results in terms of levels of disturbance.
  • Geomagnetic disturbance alerts and regional reports that users can subscribe to via the University of Alcalá (UAH) product link.

The following products are provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI):

  • Maps for power and pipeline operators showing estimated GIC, E-fields, dB/dt and B in European model grid as well as user specified grid
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV) are calculated from the recent geomagnetic field recordings, ground conductivity model and pipeline model. The modelled pipe-to-soil voltage does not take into account the effect of the corrosion protection system.
  • Tailored service for specific users providing a table of modelled GIC values for the Finnish and Norwegian power grids users network in the last minute and peak GIC in the last 60 mins.

In addition to the specific products directed towards the power systems operators, the following products is available within this service:

  • 3-hourly Telluric index
  • Horizontal electric field data
  • Horizontal magnetic rate of change

These are derived from the measurements of three magnetic observatories in UK and provided by British Geological Survey as well as a collection of magnetogrammes covering North Europe and Greenland provided by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

The products for interplanetary medium at L1 give forecasts and real-time data for solar wind properties, such as the forecast of solar wind high-speed - empirical solar wind speed forecast.

Interplanetary medium at L1

Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • Statistical long-term plasma products - IMF Bx
  • Statistical long-term plasma products - IMF By
  • Statistical long-term plasma products - IMF Bz
  • IMF - Interplanetary magnetic field archive
     SGIArv
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-minute
     FORIND
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF24
  • Solar wind speed forecast (STEREO-A persistence model)
     STA+CH
  • AWARE_NEXT Enhanced 24 hour solar wind forecast
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [ESWF]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [STA+CH]
  • Archive - Enhanced 24 hour solar wind forecast [AWR_NXT]
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA
  • Statistical long-term plasma products - Solar Wind Speed
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • Archive - Solar wind model for Earth [WSA-Enlil]
  • Automated Multi Dataset Analysis (AMDA)
     AMDA

Earth magnetosphere

AZ index
AZ index, long term variation
Local geomagnetic forecast

Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment

Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Horizontal magnetic rate of change (UK)
     BGS
  • dMag/dt
  • Magnetogrammes from North(West) Europe and Greenland
  • Forecasts of dB/dt
     IRF
  • LDiñ
     UAH
  • LCiñ
     UAH
Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field
  • Horizontal electric field data (UK)
     BGS
  • Peak Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC) for Scotland, England, Wales
     BGS
  • Average Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC) for Scotland, England, Wales
     BGS
  • Peak Pipe-to-Soil Potential (PSP) East Scotland Gas Pipeline
     BGS
  • Average Pipe-to-Soil Potential (PSP) East Scotland Gas Pipeline
     BGS
  • 3-hourly Telluric index (Lerwick, Eskdalemuir, Hartland)
     BGS
  • GIC Index, Bgic for the UK
     BGS
  • Maps for power and pipeline operators
     FMI
  • Table of modelled GIC
     FMI
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV)
     FMI

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 alert is associated with this service:

Geomagnetic Storm Onset

UAH-SWE Subscription

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel G

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel C

 UAH

No preview available

UAH-SWE Report

 UAH

No preview available

SolarHeed

 UAH

No preview available

Geomagnetic activity alert

 BGS

No preview available

SIDC Human moderated alerts archive

No preview available

SIDC Latest human moderated alert

No preview available

This section provides links to web pages or resources that are not part of the S2P 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

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