Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SWAMI (Space Weather Atmosphere Model and Indices)
Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31
ESA is currently implementing phase II of its Space Situational Awareness Space Weather System (and Phase III is being planned). This is built around five Expert Service Centres covering the domains Solar Weather, Ionospheric Weather, Space Radiation, Geomagnetic Conditions and Heliospheric Weather; The phase II project P2-SWE-II is currently running with the participation of all the SWAMI partners. This project aims at producing a prototype atmospheric neutral density forecast service for satellite users and uses forecasts based on DTM. This decision was made after a review of all available models at the start of the P2-SWE-II project, which concluded that the DTM was the best available model, but also that physics-based models, while potentially very useful, did not cover the altitude range for which P2-SWE-II forecasts are required. Therefore, our project will strengthen ESA’s Space Weather System by providing a model, that covers the required altitude range but also by developing high-cadence geomagnetic indices and improved predictions that will outperform existing prediction algorithms. High cadence geomagnetic index values and forecast will be available for integration into the Geomagnetic Conditions Expert Service Centre.
The three main objectives of SWAMI are listed below:
OB1. To develop a model of the whole atmosphere (MOWA) with a science as well as operations-focused approach. Two existing models of the atmosphere, the UM and the DTM, will be extended and blended to produce this unique new whole atmosphere model, which shall provide estimates of both climatology and space weather variability. The model will be validated against observations and other models. An operational tool for satellite re-entry and launch applications shall be developed based on the whole atmosphere model, the MOWA Climatological Model (MCM) with a specification guided by consultation with relevant users.
OB2. To provide new high-cadence geomagnetic Kp-indices, including its nowcast and predictions to be used in the UM and DTM. These products are equally useful for a wide range of space weather services that rely on rapid geomagnetic activity specification.
OB3. To develop steps, including provision of software, model output, or data sharing facilities, to transition the improved model system into operations. A set of acceptance criteria, for example regarding robustness of model code, or near-real-time processing of data and delivery of forecasts, shall be defined and should be met to ensure that the model system can be considered ready for operational use.
The construction of a first DTM update with new density data, was completed with a few months delay due to unavailability of data. The data were edited and preprocessed more accurately, and consequently internal biases could be determined more accurately. Finally, the model was constructed with the database available in August 2018. The model is less biased and more precise than DTM2013, even if the gain is modest.
Task 3.1 was completed. User survey results were presented and conclusions are included in deliverable D3. Task 3.2 is ongoing without delays. The datasets of Hp90, Hp60, Hp30, ap90, ap60 and ap30 are delivered and will be evaluated and updated during Task 3.4. Task 3.3 is ongoing without delays. A solar wind and Kp database have been built up. The models can be trained independently for different forecast horizon, for short and long-term forecast. Task 3.4 the evolution of Hp indices and the development of an automatized real-time 3H-cadence Kp forecast system is started. This system will be developed further during the second year of the proposal and extended to the high cadence Kp forecast as well.
The work done in the WP4 was focused on understanding the system and gathering the user requirements in order to make the transition to operations