Keynote lectures

Each morning and afternoon we start with a keynote lecture. A keynote takes 25-30 minutes, including Q&As.
Find out the key issues during these plenary lectures.

Room: Delvaux

Recent Advances in Planetary Space Weather

Christina PlainakiMon 27, 13:45
Space Weather is the physical and phenomenological state of natural space environments. In general, space weather at a planet or satellite is strongly determined by the interactions between the body in question and its local space environment. The study of either circum-terrestrial or planetary space weather (referred to also as heliospheric space weather) considers different cross-disciplinary topics, including the interaction of solar wind and/or of magnetospheric plasmas with planetary/satellite surfaces, thick (e.g. at Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Mars, Venus, Titan) or tenuous (e.g. at Ganymede, Europa, Mercury, our Moon) atmospheres and ionospheres; the variability of the planetary magnetospheric regions under different external plasma conditions; the interactions of planetary radiation belts with atmospheres, satellites and rings. The lessons learned from the study of the interactions of planetary bodies with plasma and solar photon radiation can be an important feedback for further and more in-depth understanding of the circum-terrestrial space weather phenomena. In this paper, we review the scientific aspects of solar and non-solar driven space weather, at different regions of the Heliosphere. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of the existing results based both on observational data and theoretical models, we discuss the physics of the interactions between the environment of a Solar System body and the impinging plasma/radiation, including when possible a direct reference to the circum-terrestrial case.

Kristian Birkeland - The Almost Forgotten Scientist and Father of the Sun-Earth Connection

Pål Brekke Tue 28, 09:00
In 2017, physicist Kristian Birkeland’s legacy still stands strong - 150 years after his birth and 100 years after his death. He is regarded as the leading scientist and inventor in Norwegian history. Kristian Birkeland was the first scientist to explain that the sun was the source of the northern lights and founded much of today’s modern space research. He was also the man behind the fantastic invention that enabled the making of artificial fertiliser by harvesting nitrogen from the air. The discovery was the basis for the foundation of Hydro and turned out to be extremely important for the food production around the world at that time. Hydro (today called Yara) is still the world’s largest fertiliser company operating production in more than 50 countries. Birkeland’s theories about the northern lights and electrical currents in the atmosphere met great opposition among internationally renowned scholars such as Lord Kelvin and Sydney Chapman. It took over 60 years before one could confirm Birkeland’s theories when satellites became available and observed solar wind particles and detected electrical currents which we today call Birkeland currents. However, in 1994, Birkeland was deservedly honoured. His portrait was chosen for the front side of the Norwegian 200-kroner banknote and he now also features on the tail of a Norwegian Airlines plane. This lecture is a tribute to one of the greatest scientists in space research.

The Kristian Birkeland medal for Space Weather and Space Climate

Winner of the Birkeland MedalTue 28, 14:30
The recipient of the Kristian Birkeland Medal must have demonstrated a unique ability to combine basic and applied research to develop useful space weather products that are being used outside the research community, and/or across scientific research disciplines. The work must have led to a better physical comprehension of the solar-terrestrial phenomena related to space weather, to a drastic improvement of space weather modeling, or to a new generation of instruments.

Lessons Learned from the first educational CubeSat Constellation

Davide Masutti Wed 29, 09:00

Highlights on Extreme Space Weather from the SPACESTORM Project

Richard HorneWed 29, 14:30
The SPACESTORM project carried out modelling and laboratory experiments on the effects of extreme space weather. Here we present some of the highlights of the project, including a calculation of the worst case electron environment for MEO and GEO from statistical methods and physical models. We discuss some of the impacts on satellite fleet that can be expected such as satellite ageing, and summarise the results of laboratory experiments designed to measure radiation induced conductivity and assess the vulnerability to satellite anomalies. We present a summary of some of the mitigation measures that can be adopted, including shielding, leaky dielectrics, passive emitters and a new forecasting system that provides risk indicators for internal charging, surface charging, ionising dose and solar array degradation that is tailored to orbits representative of the Galileo orbit, MEO and GEO.

More steps towards L5

Robert BentleyThu 30, 09:00
The idea of sending a dedicated mission to L5 to support space weather forecasting has been discussed for several years. The ESA SSA-SWE programme conducted two parallel that concluded in mid 2016 that examined the concept; since then, discussions have continued in many quarters. ESA is now in the process of starting detailed studies of the requirements for the spacecraft and instruments for an L5 mission with a possible launch date of 2023. The meeting held in London in March 2017 - "L5 in Tandem with L1: Future Space-Weather Missions Workshop" - allowed researchers from many counties to contribute in the wide-ranging discussion on the topic. There were still differences over the importance of different types of observation in space weather forecasting, and the exact design of some of the remote sensing instruments, but overall we are slowly moving towards a consensus. For the first mission to L5, it has been suggested that the instruments should be more capable than the basic mission requirements might imply and that a greater telemetry allocation was needed. The reason for this is based on the limited number of observations available from L5 and the relatively short time interval over which they were taken; both limitations suggest that taking too narrow a view of the requirements could be detrimental in the long run. We will discuss the observations that are needed to satisfy the basic space weather forecasting requirements, as currently expressed, and how advances that might be made in modelling and interpretation might change the requirements. We will also examine how a more diverse set of observations from more capable instruments would help ensure that possible changes can be accommodated.

Identification of travelling ionospheric disturbances and perspectives for the development of warning services

Anna Belehaki Fri 1, 09:00
Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) constitute an important Space Weather effect in the upper atmosphere driven by the near-Earth space dynamics and by lower atmosphere phenomena. TIDs are the ionospheric manifestation of internal atmospheric gravity waves (AGW) in the neutral atmosphere. Independent of their source, the effects imposed by TIDs at the ionospheric altitudes are very important, as they can impose disturbances with amplitudes of up to ~20% of the ambient electron density, and a Doppler frequency shifts of the order of 0.5 Hz on HF signals. Because TIDs affect all technologies using predictable ionospheric characteristics, a comprehensive system for the direct and accurate identification and tracking of TIDs is the cornerstone for the development of mitigation strategies that will support the reliable and safe operation of the systems affected. This requires (a) the real-time calculation of the TID characteristics (velocity, amplitude, propagation direction) (b) the accurate specification of all disturbances that act in the ionosphere and create the prevailing ionospheric conditions, (c) the specification of those ionospheric characteristics whose perturbation, because of TIDs, cause the impact in each specific technology. The talk reviews the most well-known methodologies for the identification and tracking of TIDs based on the exploitation of real-time observations from networks of Digisonde, GNSS receivers and Continuous Doppler Sounding Systems. Activities planned by the ionospheric community for the development of a warning system able to support the development of mitigation technologies will be also presented. These activities are part of the newly funded EC Horizon 2020 Project TechTIDE which is expected to start in November 2017.

The H2020 project SWAMI: Space Weather Atmosphere Model and Indices

Sean Bruinsma Fri 1, 14:30
In the framework of the H2020 project SWAMI, which will start in January 2018, a new whole atmosphere model will be developed that can be used for launch operations, re-entry computations, orbit prediction, and aeronomy and space weather studies. Such a model is currently not available in Europe. The CIRA thermosphere specification model DTM2013 will be improved through the combination of assimilating more density data to drive down remaining biases (all GOCE data, more GRACE, Swarm data, TIMED data), and a new high cadence Kp geomagnetic index. Compared to the progress made in solar activity proxy research, geomagnetic index development and forecasting is lagging, which is why we focus on the latter in SWAMI. The new whole atmosphere model will be adjusted to the new geomagnetic indices, which will result in more accurate storm reconstruction and forecast. The Met Office Unified Model will be extended to the lower thermosphere, and secondly, atmospheric variability will be quantified and modelled through comparison with a multi-year average climatology. Then, the DTM model will be coupled in the 120-160 km altitude region to the Met Office Unified Model in order to create a whole atmosphere model. The project objectives and time line will be presented.