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Space Weather

Proposals shall address the development of modelling capabilities and/or the delivery of prototype services able to interpret a broad range of observations of the Sun’s corona and magnetic field, of the Sun-Earth interplanetary space and of the Earth magnetosphere/ionosphere coupling relying on existing observation capacities.

The goal is to pave the way for forecasting horizons for space weather events in the order of tens of hours or days and to identify potential indicators (or proxies) of extreme events potentially through the joint analysis of interdisciplinary data.

Proposals shall address application domains which may include space as well as terrestrial infrastructure.

Proposals shall include architectural concepts of possible European space weather services in relation to the application domains addressed and they shall demonstrate complementary to and, if relevant, utilize precursor Space Weather services already available through the Space Situational Awareness programme of ESA[[]] and take into account the global space weather service developments by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

This action is also open to cooperation with international partners with relevant expertise.

Participation of industry, in particular SMEs, is encouraged, as well as the involvement of post-graduate scientists, engineers and researchers, for example through professional work experience or through fellowships/scholarships as applicable. A guidance document will be published together with this work programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the Horizon 2020 focus area ""Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union "".

Commonly occurring space weather events have the potential to impact the performance of critical space and ground infrastructure disrupting operations and communications in multiple sectors of society. Extreme events could have devastating societal and economic consequences with potential costs for disruptions and damages estimated in tens or even hundreds of billions of Euros.

Space weather must be monitored and forecasted just like terrestrial weather. However, current space weather services are generally not capable of forecasting events over several days. A longer forecasting horizon would require access to data from new observation infrastructure coupled with new and improved modelling capabilities. Preparations are underway for future instruments to be placed in suitable vantage points (Lagrange 1 and 5 as well as on Earth orbiting satellites and on ground). The challenge is to prepare for a full exploitation of such data by a renewed effort on modelling and forecasting using currently available data.

The Space Strategy recognises that growing threats emerge in space from space debris to the impact of space weather. Accordingly, the Commission announced that its intention to address threats and vulnerabilities including the impact of space weather on satellites and on ground infrastructure such as transport, energy grids and telecommunication networks.

  • Improved scientific understanding of the origin and evolution of space weather phenomena;
  • New models and forecasting techniques capable of extending the time horizon of a future space weather forecasting capability to several days;
  • Inventory of potential early indicators of extreme space weather events.