J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 5, 2015
Satellite mission concepts developed at the Alpbach 2013 Summer School on space weather
|Number of page(s)
|17 February 2015
A Space weather information service based upon remote and in-situ measurements of coronal mass ejections heading for Earth
A concept mission consisting of six spacecraft in a heliocentric orbit at 0.72 AU
German Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Department, Linder Höhe, 51147
2 Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft, The Netherlands
3 University of Southampton, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering, SO17 1BJ Southampton, UK
4 Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna, Austria
5 Department of Experimental Physics, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
6 University of Granada, Faculty of Sciences, Avda. Severo Ochoa s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
7 University of Cologne, Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, Pohligstrasse 3, 50969 Cologne, Germany
8 University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 7, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
9 AIM Paris-Saclay Laboratory, CEA/Irfu Paris Diderot University CNRS/INSU, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
10 Politehnica University of Bucharest, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Splaiul Independentei 313, 060042 Bucharest, Romania
11 Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse University (UPS), CNRS UMR 5277, 31028 Toulouse, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 27 December 2014
The Earth’s magnetosphere is formed as a consequence of interaction between the planet’s magnetic field and the solar wind, a continuous plasma stream from the Sun. A number of different solar wind phenomena have been studied over the past 40 years with the intention of understanding and forecasting solar behavior. One of these phenomena in particular, Earth-bound interplanetary coronal mass ejections (CMEs), can significantly disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere for a short time and cause geomagnetic storms. This publication presents a mission concept consisting of six spacecraft that are equally spaced in a heliocentric orbit at 0.72 AU. These spacecraft will monitor the plasma properties, the magnetic field’s orientation and magnitude, and the 3D-propagation trajectory of CMEs heading for Earth. The primary objective of this mission is to increase space weather forecasting time by means of a near real-time information service, that is based upon in-situ and remote measurements of the aforementioned CME properties. The obtained data can additionally be used for updating scientific models. This update is the mission’s secondary objective. In-situ measurements are performed using a Solar Wind Analyzer instrumentation package and fluxgate magnetometers, while for remote measurements coronagraphs are employed. The proposed instruments originate from other space missions with the intention to reduce mission costs and to streamline the mission design process. Communication with the six identical spacecraft is realized via a deep space network consisting of six ground stations. They provide an information service that is in uninterrupted contact with the spacecraft, allowing for continuous space weather monitoring. A dedicated data processing center will handle all the data, and then forward the processed data to the SSA Space Weather Coordination Center which will, in turn, inform the general public through a space weather forecast. The data processing center will additionally archive the data for the scientific community. The proposed concept mission allows for major advances in space weather forecasting time and the scientific modeling of space weather.
Key words: Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) / Remote sensing / In-situ measurement / Geomagnetic storms / Forecast / Services
© B. Ritter et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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