Evaluation of the performance of DIAS ionospheric forecasting models
National Observatory of Athens, Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, Metaxa and Vas. Pavlou, 15236 P. Penteli, Greece
* corresponding author: e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 30 June 2011
Nowcasting and forecasting ionospheric products and services for the European region are regularly provided since August 2006 through the European Digital upper Atmosphere Server (DIAS, http://dias.space.noa.gr). Currently, DIAS ionospheric forecasts are based on the online implementation of two models: (i) the solar wind driven autoregression model for ionospheric short-term forecast (SWIF), which combines historical and real-time ionospheric observations with solar-wind parameters obtained in real time at the L1 point from NASA ACE spacecraft, and (ii) the geomagnetically correlated autoregression model (GCAM), which is a time series forecasting method driven by a synthetic geomagnetic index. In this paper we investigate the operational ability and the accuracy of both DIAS models carrying out a metrics-based evaluation of their performance under all possible conditions. The analysis was established on the systematic comparison between models’ predictions with actual observations obtained over almost one solar cycle (1998–2007) at four European ionospheric locations (Athens, Chilton, Juliusruh and Rome) and on the comparison of the models’ performance against two simple prediction strategies, the median- and the persistence-based predictions during storm conditions. The results verify operational validity for both models and quantify their prediction accuracy under all possible conditions in support of operational applications but also of comparative studies in assessing or expanding the current ionospheric forecasting capabilities.
Key words: 2447: modeling and forecasting / 2441: ionospheric storms / 2435: ionospheric disturbances / 2431: ionosphere/magnetosphere interactions / 2443: midlatitude ionosphere
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