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Project: Space Weather Transition
Project Status: Green project status button. Project Status Key
NOAA Mission Goal: Commerce & Transportation
Project Manager: Keith McKenzie, OSD Ground Systems Division

Project Stage:

Operations/Sustaining Engineering project stage

Project Description: Space weather involves the real-time monitoring and forecasting of solar and geophysical events and in particular it’s impact on satellites, power grids, communications, navigation, and many other technological systems. The NESDIS Ground Systems Division (GSD) is currently working with the NWS Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) and the NESDIS Office of Satellite Operations / Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution to enable a transition of the real-time space weather satellite data processing from SWPC to NESDIS. Thus, NESDIS will provide processed satellite-based solar data as input to SWPC’s space weather forecast models, in a manner analogous to the support provided to NWS prediction centers engaged in utilizing earth remote sensing satellite information for meteorological and climate forecast models.

GSD will lead the overall project and coordinate development efforts among the various partners including SWPC, OSO/OSDPD, the NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), and foreign ground stations with whom data exchange agreements exist.  The first phase of the effort will involve the transition of the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) processing system from SWPC to NESDIS in FY 2010-2011, followed by implementation of space weather processing for the SEM and SXI instruments flown aboard the SWPC NOP series of geostationary satellites in the following year. The OSDPD Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) will provide the backup capabilities for the space weather processing and distribution functions. It is also envisioned that NESDIS will also assume space weather processing support for the next-generation SWPC-R satellite scheduled for launch in the 2016 time frame.  The notional architecture for the current satellite systems is shown in the figure below.

Class network diagram


Aurora Borealis weather phenomena view 1 Exploded diagram of DISCOVR spacecraft Aurora Borealis weather phenomena view 2 Sequence of space weather phenomenaNOAA 18 auroral oval

Additional Information:

Information on ACE Mission
Information on real-time space weather forecasting