Transionospheric Radio Link - Forecast TEC maps
Forecast vertical Total Electron Content (TEC) map,
provided by Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC), DLR.
The service "Transionospheric Radio Link - Forecast TEC maps" provides maps of the forecasted Total Electron Content (TEC). Currently, these maps show TEC one hour ahead. Developments are planned to extend the lead time and also consider storm times.
Supplementary, geomagnetic indices are provided to this service. These indices indicate quiet and disturbed levels. On the one hand, this can be used to consider the accuracy of the TEC forecast. On the other hand, it can be used as input for the TEC forecast models.
This service addresses the needs of trans-ionospheric radio links users. This includes primarily Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) users and service providers, using GNSS single frequency services (e.g. EGNOS users and typical GNSS mass market users), GNSS multi-frequency services (e.g. aeronautical systems, geodetic users, Real-Time Kinematik) and users of satellite data communications (e.g. Search and Rescue, Air Traffic, etc.) and other space-based services affected by the ionosphere (e.g. radars, altimetry, radioastronomy, etc.).
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:
- Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC) provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR);
- Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring (ISM) developed by Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) and IEEA.
This service page is curated by the ESC Ionospheric Weather. For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk.
While many applications already estimate the impact of the ionosphere, forecasts for ionospheric conditions are still relevant for mission planning. Up to now, there is only a limited number of Total Electron Content (TEC) forecasts available, because its development is challenging.
The ionosphere is a very dynamic medium. The electron density depends on production, loss and transport of plasma. Therefore, the variability of the TEC depends strongly on the solar EUV radiation. But also the variability of the thermosphere is a crucial component. Furthermore, geomagnetic conditions have to be considered. Especially during storm conditions, when all components are disturbed, the TEC is hardly predictable.
Forecast TEC maps are relevant for mission planning.
IMPC - TEC forecast, 1 hour ahead
This service provides TEC forecasts one hour ahead with global coverage and for the European region. Both products are derived from the Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC) - Near-real-time TEC maps, which differ in their TEC background models.
ISM - TEC forecast, 6 hours ahead
DC-IV Ionospheric Scintillation Monitoring service (ISM) provides TEC modelized maps with 6-hour forecast along with error maps. The 6 hour TEC forecast is provided in worldwide and continental maps and error maps of TEC, based on GISM model and assimilated data from dedicated scintillation receivers (MONITOR) and geodetic GNSS receivers (IGS, SOPAC, CORS).
Other Ionospheric Forecasts
In addition of TEC, information about forecasted peak electron density can be derived from ionosonde measurements. The European Ionosonde Service (EIS) therefore provides European maps of foF2 for 24 hours and up to 3 month ahead.
Forecast of Solar Data
Forecast of solar data help to predict the ionosphere. Currently, forecasts of the solar microwave index (F10.7) is provided by Solar Influence Data Center (SIDC). F10.7 can be applied as a proxy for Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) radiation. There is a high correlation between F10.7 and the TEC. Furthermore, SIDC and RCAAM provide forecasts of solar flares.
Geomagnetic conditions forecast
Forecasts of geomagnetic storm conditions have the potential to improve ionospheric forecast. IRF provides time derivative of magnetic field (dB/dt).
For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk.
The following products are associated with this service:
Total Electron Content Maps, Forecast
Total Electron Content Maps, Nowcast
Other Ionosphere Forecasts
- S4 and Err(S4) 6h forecast modelled values at a given location
- SigmaPhi and Err(SigmaPhi) 6h forecast modelled values at a given location
- S4 and Err(S4) 6-hour forecast modelled maps
- SigmaPhi and Err(SigmaPhi) 6-hour forecast modelled maps
Forecast of Solar data
- F10.7 Index Forecast 27-day/BGS
- F10.7 Index Forecast multi-year
- F10.7 Index Forecast 27-day/SWPC
- F10.7 Index Forecast 45-day
- F10.7 Index Forecast 30-day Absolute
- F10.7 Index Forecast 30-day Adjusted
- SIDC Latest 10.7cm Solar radio flux (F10.7) forecast
- SIDC 10.7cm Solar radio flux (F10.7) forecast archive
Forecast of Vector measurements of local geomagnetic field
Tools associated with this service:
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.
Alerts 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.
Other European Ionosphere Services
- Space Weather Application Service - Ionosphere (SWACI), one of the first prototypes for a near-real-time ionosphere data service in Europe, has been established in 2005 by the German Aerospace Center. It is currently transferred into the operational service Ionosphere Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC).
- To better classify the ionosphere and forecast its disturbances over Europe, a data collection endeavour called the European Digital Upper Atmosphere Server (DIAS) was initiated in 2004 by a consortium formed around several European ionospheric stations that transmit in real-time ionospheric parameters automatically scaled. The DIAS project is a collaborative venture of eight institutions funded by the European Commission eContent Programme.
- ECSS-E-ST-10-04C Rev.1 Space environment (15 June 2020)