Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sophisticated ESA space weather tool under development

06.02.2007
If a satellite encounters high-energy particles or other 'space weather' phenomena before ground controllers can take action, on-board electronics could be disrupted, scientific instruments damaged and, in very rare and extreme cases, spacecraft may even be lost. A sophisticated tool in development at ESOC promises to provide effective monitoring and forecasting for any type of mission.
But since early 2005, SEISOP (Space Environment Information System for Operations), a space-weather monitoring and forecasting tool under development at ESA's Space Operations Centre, has been successfully providing near-real-time space weather reports for Integral, ESA's gamma-ray space observatory.

Solar activity influences the entire solar system in several ways, including generating streams of fast-moving energetic particles and sudden bursts of damaging X-rays during solar flares.
Energetic cosmic rays from elsewhere in the galaxy also penetrate into our solar system. These phenomena are some of the major sources of abnormal behaviour and aging for spacecraft and their sensitive scientific instruments.

“SEISOP can potentially provide warning services to space agencies worldwide, since space weather can affect any spacecraft.”

Space Weather affects spacecraft in many ways

Developed in collaboration with the ESA Space Weather Applications Pilot Project with funding from the Portuguese Task Force at ESA, SEISOP comprises a database of spacecraft health records and worldwide space weather observations, combined with sophisticated software applications that provide reporting, warning, forecasting and history tracking for the Integral Flight Control Team.
"Space weather affects spacecraft in many ways. There can be random lost data, changes in orbit dynamics and reduced quality of science data. Therefore, real-time updates are essential when deciding how long to shut down instruments during hazardous periods," says Alessandro Donati, Head of ESOC's Advanced Mission Concepts and Technologies office.

ESA, NASA, NOAA, other sources feed data to SEISOP

Some of the space weather data is gathered by ESA, NASA and NOAA (US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) spacecraft, while other observations come from numerous ground-based institutes and facilities. SEISOP is a member of SWENET, the Space Weather European Network.

SEISOP enables mission controllers to predict when they should shut down instruments such as star trackers, place systems into 'safe mode' or take other action to protect sensitive on-board electronics and scientific sensors.

While some instruments are equipped to automatically shut down during adverse periods, not all are and bringing an instrument back into service after an automated shut down is time consuming. Further, it has until now been difficult to know when radiation had fallen to safe levels, once an event like a solar flare had taken place.

SEISOP to enter operational development

In 2007, SEISOP will enter operational development aimed at providing all ESA missions with the same vital space weather updates. "We expect to start work this year to create the final operational version. SEISOP can potentially provide warning services not only within ESA but also to space agencies worldwide, since space weather can affect any spacecraft," says Donati.

Bernhard Von Weyhe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMGSSSMTWE_index_0.html

Further reports about: ESA SEISOP SOLAR spacecraft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto

nachricht Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>