Working Meeting - On the way to standardize ionospheric indices and scales

Matthew Angling (University of Birmingham), Norbert Jakowski (German Aerospace Center)
Tuesday 15th, 15:00-16:30, Ridderzaal

To characterize the perturbation degree of the ionosphere, current space weather services rely on geomagnetic
indices such as Kp, or Dst and/or several ionospheric approaches such as S4, ROTI, AATR or DIX.
Thus, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder currently has only three space weather scales
levels 1 to 5) for Geomagnetic Storms, Radio Blackout, and Solar Radiation Storms. Although these scales
relate to changes in the ionosphere in some way, they are not sufficiently specific to fulfil customer needs
in particular in navigation and radar systems. Increasing challenges on accuracy, continuity, availability
and reliability of radio systems require adequate ionospheric information on the ionospheric perturbation
degree, at least in near real time and - if possible - in advance. Since an ionospheric activity or
perturbation index can provide quick and proxy information on complex space weather relationships,
such an index, scaled in a similar way as other indices, should have a great practical value for customers
of radio systems. Although the discussion of candidate indices having the potential to be standardized
is going on, e.g. at the COSPAR PSW.3 session, this challenging task requires a sustainable discussion
that has to be continued. ESWW is an excellent platform to involve in particular the European space weather
community into this process.