The Space Weather Application Center Ionosphere (SWACI) is a pilot research project focused on establishing a space weather center whose services will be related primarily on ionospheric issues. SWACI is a joint project of two DLR institutes - the Institute of Communications and Navigation and the Earth Observation Center (EOC). It is essentially supported by the German State Government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The ionospheric impact can degrade the performance of radio systems used in space based communication, remote sensing and navigation. Thus, accuracy, reliability and availability of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS or the future civilian European system Galileo may degrade. On the other hand, well established ground and space based GNSS measurements offer a unique chance to permanently monitor the electron density structure of the ionosphere-plasmasphere system.
SWACI helps users in particular in the European region by providing expert products/services like nowcast, forecast, and alerts on the ionospheric state and related space weather issues and historical data.
Especially ionospheric data are collected, checked for quality, calibrated, adjusted, analyzed, fed into models for generating higher-level data products and finally distributed in near real time and archived.
Four types of products/services will be delivered to registered users:
The management of the SWACI data base is performed by the DFD Data and Information Management System (DIMS).
SWACI is an important component for establishing a future Ionospheric Monitoring and Prediction Center (IMPC) situated in Neustrelitz. SWACI contributes to the Space Weather European Network (SWENET) of ESA for purposes of data exchange and international cooperation.
In future there will be also a close cooperation with the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center Boulder which is based on the operational reception and use of the solar wind data obtained by the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).
The service of SWACI is planned to be fully operational by the end of August 2011.
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