Session CD7 - Space Weather Effects on Aviation

Alex Hands (University of Surrey, UK), Erwin De Donder (Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Belgium), Marcin Latocha (Seibersdorf Labor GmbH, Germany)



There are many diverse threats to aviation from space weather. Interruptions to high frequency (HF) communications, loss of SATCOM links and degradation of GPS navigation performance are associated respectively with various space weather phenomena such as X-ray flares, geomagnetic storms and polar cap absorption (PCA) of solar energetic particles. In addition, solar energetic particle events (SEPEs) can lead to elevated dose rate to passengers and crew, as well as single event effects (SEE) in aircraft electronics (avionics). As technology advances (with more complex and sensitive electronic equipment, electric engines, …) in the aviation industry, new susceptibilities may show up caused by Space Weather (SWx). This creates new challenges for the space weather community to improve the modelling of the space weather modified environment and induced effects at flight altitude. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is attempting to address these concerns via four dedicated global space weather centers for the distribution of advisory information and alerts. The ICAO space weather manual outlines thresholds for these alerts based on moderate (MOD) and severe (SEV) levels of space weather intensity. While at European level, the development of ESA’s Space Weather Service Network with pre-operational services continues within the Space Safety (S2P) SWx programme.

We invite contributions on any topic relating to space weather effects on aviation particularly those that describe models and measurements that are relevant to the ICAO advisory thresholds. We encourage discussion on the suitability of the ICAO thresholds for space weather advisories and the scope for new measurement campaigns to enable comparisons between empirical data and model predictions during future events. We also invite the scientific community & service providers to present newly developed assets that may help in further improving the reliability/accuracy of space weather services and tools in support of the aviation community.