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Space Weather opportunities from the Swarm mission including near real time applications

Terra Scientific Publishing Company
Publication Date
  • Astronomy
  • Physics


Sophisticated space weather monitoring aims at nowcasting and predicting solar-terrestrial interactions because their effects on the ionosphere and upper atmosphere may seriously impact advanced technology. Operating alert infrastructures rely heavily on ground-based measurements and satellite observations of the solar and interplanetary conditions. New opportunities lie in the implementation of in-situ observations of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere onboard low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. The multi-satellite mission Swarm is equipped with several instruments which will observe electromagnetic and atmospheric parameters of the near Earth space environment. Taking advantage of the multi-disciplinary measurements and the mission constellation different Swarm products have been defined or demonstrate great potential for further development of novel space weather products. Examples are satellite based magnetic indices monitoring effects of the magnetospheric ring current or the polar electrojet, polar maps of ionospheric conductance and plasma convection, indicators of energy deposition like Poynting flux, or the prediction of post sunset equatorial plasma irregularities. Providing these products in timely manner will add significant value in monitoring present space weather and helping to predict the evolution of several magnetic and ionospheric events. Swarm will be a demonstrator mission for the valuable application of LEO satellite observations for space weather monitoring tools.

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