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Technical Article

Table 1

Most important characteristics of some of the main existing parallel services/initiatives to IPS and their relation with IPS objectives.

Services/Initiatives Lifetime of the activity/service Main available products Relation with IPS prototype
Solar Monitor’s Flare Prediction System Probabilities hosted by the Solar Physics Group, Trinity College Dublin and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Currently active
  • Statistical flaring probability for NOAA solar active regions (ARs)

  • A list of ARs with flaring probabilities (NOAA Number, McIntosh Class, probabilities for C-class, M-class and X-class flares)

  • A list of events not associated with currently named NOAA regions and notes

Similarly to IPS, flare prediction for different flare classes (C, M, X) is provided. No information about the impact of flares on the ionosphere or GNSS is provided
National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center hosted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Currently active
  • Geophysical alert

  • 3-Day forecast of solar wind condition and CME alert

  • Forecast of solar and geophysical activity

Some products from this service (e.g. Kp forecasting) are used in IPS as input data
Space Weather Operations Centre hosted by the United Kingdom Met Office Currently active
  • Open information such as: space weather forecast headline, analysis of space weather activity over past 24 hours, and four-day space weather forecast summary.

  • Specific forecasts for authorities and organizations who prepare for and respond to risks such as space weather.

Information about past and forecasted space weather events are given as text, so this service is considered as not overlapping with IPS
The service is not open and can be requested by sending an email to the Met office.
Flare Likelihood And Region Eruption foreCASTing (FLARECAST) prediction system hosted by the Academy of Athens, Greece H2020 project concluded in December 2017 Solar-flare prediction based on about 20 machine learning algorithms considering different solar flare predicting parameters Research project not providing real-time service
SpaceWx Alert Monitor (SAM) hosted by Space Environment Technologies (SET) company Currently active Alert monitor to predict the arrival time of CMEs and the solar wind velocity at Earth It is based on NOAA data, but the webpage does not include algorithms for product generation.
User interaction is not possible
Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) hosted by Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) Currently active
  • Real time alerts of halo CMEs, X-ray flare detection

  • 3-day-forecast of solar and geomagnetic activity

  • PRESTO messages notifying the detection of a CME and some information about possible associated flares, plasma ejection onset time and velocity

Similarly to IPS, this service provides products mainly related to solar event monitoring and real time alerts to the user. No information about the impact of such events on the ionosphere or GNSS is provided.
Some products from this service (e.g. CME detection) are used in IPS as input data
Space Weather Information Center (SWIC) hosted by Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Currently active
  • Solar wind and CME monitoring

  • Alerts to provide real time information about the status of the solar wind at L1 lagrangian point and CME

  • Magnetosphere status and forecasting

  • Ionosphere status and forecasting at a regional level over Japan by using GNSS and ionosonde data

This service is similar to IPS, but it covers only regional ionospheric monitoring and forecasting. No information on the GNSS receiver performance is provided. It is possible to receive alerts, but the thresholds are not customizable. Detrended (60 minutes time window) TEC maps are provided to identify Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) in quasi real-time, while IPS is able to provide TIDs detection only on a daily basis
Regional Warning Center of China (RWC-China) hosted by Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) Currently unavailable
  • Current space weather

  • Flare and geomagnetic activity 48-hour forecast

  • 72-hour forecast of F10.7 cm radio flux and proton event probability

South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA) regional Space Weather service Currently active
  • Space weather bulletin

  • Daily forecast of solar and geomagnetic conditions

  • 3-day prediction of solar and geomagnetic conditions

This service provides nowcasting and forecasting (3 days) information about solar, geomagnetic and ionospheric condition as “level” of activity. No information on the GNSS receiver performance is provided. User interaction and definition of thresholds is not possible
SWACI – Space Weather Application Centre Ionosphere hosted by German Aerospace Center (DLR) Currently active and under development for forecasting and prediction
  • TEC maps (global-Europe) in real time and 1-hour forecast

  • Plot of scintillation activity and proxy (ROTI) in near real time,

  • Estimation of 3D electron density in near real time

It offers tools to develop services for GNSS users, but it does not provide information to be easily incorporated into user applications
European Space Agency (ESA) Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme/Ionospheric Weather Expert Service Centre (ESC) hosted by ESA Currently active and under development for forecasting and prediction The I-ESC provides, implements and supports the ionospheric and upper atmosphere weather products and capabilities of the ESA SSA SWE network The I-ESC provides “federated products” from different partners, i.e. not a service that can be compared directly to IPS
MONITOR-Ionospheric Monitoring Experimentation Plan & Instrument Developmenthosted by ESA Currently active and under development. Not clear if forecasting and prediction will be developed. Several products are planned and not yet available: scintillation indices, TEC maps, EGNOS TEC maps, Rate of TEC, perturbation parameters, reports. This service cannot be directly compared to IPS since it does not provide forecasting products. Also, it does not provide end users with final products to be directly integrated into their GNSS based applications
SWPC – Space Weather Prediction Centerhosted by NOAA Currently active TEC maps (global, continental USA) It offers tools to develop services for GNSS users, but it does not provide users information to be easily incorporated into their applications. The products are mainly for the American sector
SWS Space Weather Services – Australia hosted by Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology Currently active and under development for forecasting and prediction
  • Daily solar, geomagnetic and Australian region ionospheric forecast

  • Solar and geomagnetic conditions

  • TEC regional and global maps

It offers tools to develop services for GNSS users, and provides users with limited information that can be incorporated into some of their applications
AOSWA- Asian Oceanian Space Weather Alliance hosted by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan Currently active
  • Regional TEC and scintillation maps and plots

  • Regional prediction of probability of positioning error and loss of lock

It offers tools to develop services for GNSS users, and provides users with limited information that can be incorporated into some of their applications. There are no products focused on specific GNSS end user classes
International GNSS Service (IGS) Currently active Both final and rapid products are freely available via FTP The products provided by IGS are not in real-time and only at global level
seSolstorm hosted by Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) Currently active
  • TEC, ROTI and spatial gradient maps

Products in the form of maps are open to the public. However, there is no mention regarding the data access/availability
Low-Latitude Ionospheric Sensor Network (LISN) hosted by Instituto Geofisico del Peru Currently active. Not clear if forecasting and prediction will be developed.
  • Near real time regional TEC and scintillation maps

  • Some of the data is not freely available and its use requires the creation of an authorized account. The images of processed data are available with no restrictions

It offers tools to develop services for GNSS users, and provides users with limited information that can be incorporated into some of their applications. There are no products focused on specific GNSS end user classes
International Space Environment Service (ISES) Currently active, but not an operational service. ISES serves as a forum to share data, to exchange and compare forecasts, to discuss user needs, and to identify the highest priorities for improving services.
  • Forecasts, warnings, and alerts of solar, magnetospheric, and ionospheric conditions

  • Space environment data customer-focused event analyses

  • Long-range predictions of the solar cycle

No overlap with the IPS products
TomoSCand hosted by Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)/University of Oulu Currently active From the TomoScand webpage it is possible to visualize a 3D ionospheric reconstruction coming from an inversion of the data acquired and automatically generated using general default parameters. The 3D electron density is provided in post processing with a latency that seems to be about 2 months No overlap with the IPS products
Pan-European Consortium for Aviation Space weather User Services (PECASUS) Currently active Advisories to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on space weather impacts on aviation GNSS systems, HF communication and radiation levels at flight altitudes. Advisories are in accordance with the ICAO’s specification. Advisories and products are available only to ICAO, so this service could partially overlap with IPS only for aviation users.

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