Topical Discussion Meeting - Utilisation of Real-time Solar Wind Data for Forecasting: Challenges and Possible Solutions

Norah Kwagala (Univ of Bergen), Andy Smith (UCL/MSSL), Joseph Eggington (Imperial College London)
Thu, 11:30-12:45, Fire

With the increased need for operational space weather forecasting, there has similarly been an increase in reliance on real-time solar wind data from L1 monitors. Due to the location of these monitors in the upstream solar wind, the propagation time needed for solar wind plasma to reach Earth after measurement can directly translate to a lead-time on forecasts (if the models using this input data run fast enough). In contrast to general modelling with post-processed science-quality data, using unseen raw real-time solar wind data for forecasting comes with additional challenges (examples include down-link delays, data gaps, monitor availability, differences in monitor calibration/location and forecasted solar wind propagation to Earth or the bow shock). In many cases model performance is adversely affected and/or cumulative delays impact the usefulness of the forecast. This topical discussion meeting aims to explore challenges in using raw real-time solar wind data in the context of operational space weather forecasting and ultimately move towards pragmatic operational solutions. Contributions and perspectives are encouraged from across the field, whether it be to identify new challenges from an end-user perspective or to present existing real-time data cleaning pipelines and next-generation instrumentation.