Radiation Belt Environmental Indicators for the Safety of Space Assets
The SafeSpace project aims at advancing space weather nowcasting and forecasting capabilities and, consequently, at contributing to the safety of space assets through the transition of powerful tools from research to operations (R2O). This will be achieved through the synergy of five well-established space weather models (CDPP solar disturbance propagation tool, EUHFORIA CME evolution model, ONERA Neural Network tool, IASB-BIRA plasmasphere model and ONERA Salammbô radiation belts code), which cover the whole Sun –interplanetary space –Earth’s magnetosphere chain. The combined use of these models will enable the delivery of a sophisticated model of the Van Allen electron belt and of a prototype space weather service of tailored particle radiation indicators. Moreover, it will enable forecast capabilities with a target lead time of 2 to 4 days, which is a tremendous advance from current forecasts, which are limited to lead times of a few hours.
SafeSpace will improve radiation belt modelling through the incorporation into the Salammbô model of magnetospheric processes and parameters of critical importance to radiation belt dynamics. Furthermore, solar and interplanetary conditions will be used as initial conditions to drive the advanced radiation belt model and to provide the link to the solar origin and the interplanetary drivers of space weather. This approach will culminate in a prototype early warning system for detrimental space weather events, integrating information all the way from the Sun to the inner magnetosphere. With a major European space company, Thales Alenia Space (TAS), as a Partner in SafeSpace, we will define indicators of particle radiation of use to space industry and spacecraft operators. Indicator values will be generated by the advanced radiation belt model and the performance of the prototype service will be evaluated by TAS and by other stakeholders, who will be selected in collaboration with the External Advisory Panel of the project.