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  • Space Weather and effects
  • What is Space Weather Effects

The identification of users of space weather products or space weather modelling is a critical issue for the development of space weather activities. This is partly related to the fact that until useful products become available, there will be no well-defined market for them. Most likely the awareness of the potential users will develop in parallel with the developing space weather services. Both sides of the development, i.e., products and the market, gain if the space weather community gives a high priority to education and public outreach. The needs of the various users, actual or potential, are very variable, and, for the time being, insufficiently specified. Presently the most important users of space weather products are spacecraft engineering, spacecraft operations, and RF communications dependent on ionospheric properties. The spacecraft development is based on accumulated knowledge of space environment and its effects. Spacecraft operators could use space weather information when planning critical manoeuvres. Spacecraft launchers can make use of exact knowledge of space weather conditions and the re-entry of large vehicles depends on the atmospheric drag conditions. However, the need to assess space weather risks with respect to critical operations is not yet widely agreed. This could lead to ad-hoc decision making when space weather warnings coincide with critical operations. This further demonstrates the need for education and outreach activities; in particular within communities involved in operations with potential space weather risks. Other users are telecommunication operators, users of the global positioning systems, electric power industry, etc. Commercial airlines must be careful with the radiation doses to their crew and passengers and also consider the potential radiation damages of increasingly miniaturised electronic components. Often the end-user is just interested in receiving useful information from a space weather service provider. There is, however, a large group of users who wish to get pre-processed data for further modelling work. For example, a spacecraft engineer may want to analyse a spacecraft failure by varying the input parameters around the state of the radiation belts given by a space weather model.

- Space Weather Effects Catalogue -