November 2010 Meeting Summary

Dr. Kent Tobiska spoke to the Southern California Section about Space Weather on Nov. 17, 2010 at NavCom Technology. There were 29 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Dr. W. Kent Tobiska:
Dr. Tobiska is the President and Chief Scientist of Space Environment Technologies (SET) and Director of the Utah State University Space Weather Center (SWC). His long-term research focus has been the analysis of solar XUV to FUV data that has led to the creation of an internationally distributed hybrid solar irradiance platform (SIP). He invented the world’s first operational computer code for solar irradiance forecast while serving as a senior scientist at Northrop Grumman/Logicon. At SET, he extended this expertise into operational space weather systems as PI on the SET solar operational system, the NOAA/SWPC solar irradiance CRADA, the AF SBIR for an operational ionosphere forecast system, and the communication alert and prediction system (CAPS). At SWC, he has led the effort to enable space weather systems to become operational information layers in broader technology systems. Through his career at NOAA Space Environment Laboratory, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, SET, and UCSW, he has been a USAF and a NASA LWS, SOHO, JSDAP, and UARS Principal Investigator (PI), a Co-Investigator (Co-I) on NASA TIMED, Galileo, and ESA component of the International Space Station (ISS) SOL-ACES instruments. He is the COSPAR C1 Sub-Commission (Thermosphere & Ionosphere) Chair, the COSPAR International Reference Atmosphere (CIRA) Task Force Vice-Chair, and is a Session Organizer for 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 COSPAR scientific sessions. He serves as lead U.S. delegate to ISO for the space environment and developed the ISO solar irradiance standard; he is the AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environment Technical Committee (ASETC) Committee on Standards (CoS) chair. He has authored/co-authored over 80 peer-review scientific papers as well as 8 books and major technical publications. Dr. Tobiska is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of American Geophysical Union, Committee On Space Research, and American Meteorological Society.

Abstract of Dr. Tobiska’s Talk:
Slides: Space Weather
During the past decade and a half, the U.S. National Space Weather Program has enabled the development and coupling of models and data streams that now make operational space weather a reality. Space weather is the dynamic effect of the Sun’s photons, charged particles, and fields upon our near-Earth environment and our technological systems. Navigation and geo-location use GPS and this is one such system affected by space weather when solar flares and coronal mass ejections cause disturbances to the Earth’s ionosphere. These disturbances then affect the signal delay from GPS satellites to a receiver, introducing uncertainty in the determination of position. The Utah State University Space Weather Center (SWC) in Logan has developed the Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) system since 1995. GAIM uses a physics-based model as its core and incorporates 10,000 slant TEC global measurements every 15 minutes through Kalman filtering to correct the current epoch ionosphere. Because Kalman filtering provides some recent memory of the recent ionosphere, and because the physics-based model in GAIM can be driven with predicted solar irradiances and geomagnetic indices, it is now possible to have very accurate global and CONUS slant TEC at the current epoch combined with a forecast architecture being extended to 72 hours. Dr. Tobiska will describe the advances in GAIM TEC specification as related to GPS position accuracy and give examples of enterprise solutions now under development to improve position accuracy.