Space Weather Euro News Vol.4 Issue 15 (25-08-2000) 

Table of Contents: 
1. Major Space Weather Activity
2. Job Vacancy at the University College London in the Space Weather field
3. Presentation of assessment study results second an third flexi missions
4. Survey of European Space Weather Resources
5. Some ESA Tender Actions from ESA EMITS
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1. Major Space Weather Activity
From: Barbara Poppe                                          e-mail

The spate of solar and geomagnetic activity July 14 to July 19 produced some of the largest space weather events in this solar cycle. This was the largest geomagnetic storm observed since 1989, and one of the most intense solar proton event ever recorded. 
The proton event reached S4 on the NOAA Space Weather Scales (published in this week's EOS) , and a geomagnetic storm reached G5 levels. The most significant x-ray event in the sequence wasthe R3-level event on July 14.  SEC experienced 1.5 million hits on their website on both July 15 and 16, 2.3 million hits in one 24-hour period.

Accurate forecasting and alerting by NOAA's Space Environment Center throughout the sequence of activity allowed users such as the electric power industry and satellite operators to be prepared for the storm. 
Though the activity was strong, it did not exhibit the usually rapid and intense variations; had magnetic field fluctuations been more typical, more technological systems would have been affected adversely.

Power Systems: 

Electric power systems from northern Maine to the southeastern U.S. experienced wide-spread capacitor bank tripping and geomagnetically-induced currents; there were voltage swings of 2% on 325 kV transmission lines; a data communications device failed. 
In Wisconsin, one company reported 15 amps of current flowing on what was supposed to be the neutral current-free leg of a transformer. At least three nuclear power plants went to 80% capacity anticipating adverse effects of the storm; one step-up transformer was significantly damaged. 

Satellite Operations: 

GOES spacecraft experienced temporary increases in spacecraft momentum on July 15.  Some electron flux data from GOES were lost due to energetic proton contamination; visible and IR wavelength sensors had adverse effects with there Image Navigation and Registration  (INR) systems and image quality.  Star tracker problems caused altitude problems on other geosynchronous satellites. A commercial geosynchronous spacecraft lost a  transponder due to the solar proton event. 

One million miles upstream from Earth at L1, the ACE satellite's plasma ion detector was contaminated by energetic particles from the solar radiation storm for 36 hours, invalidating the velocity, density and temperature measurements of the solar wind. The SOHO spacecraft suffered permanent degradation of its solar panel output (losing  the equivalent of 1 year of normal degradation in 24 hours). 
The WIND satellite's solar wind sensors were similarly affected and gave no data for 2 days.

A number of research satellites were affected by the latest major solar storm event.  The Japanese ASCA research satellite shut down due to increased atmospheric drag, which resulted in loss of control, power failure, and complete depletion of its battery.  Recovery of ASCA is extremely uncertain.  Another Japanese research satellite, Akebono, suffered high energy particle  hits on its electronics, disrupting the spacecraft's computer operations. 
Practically all solar monitoring satellites had problems, as their optical sensors which were virtually dazzled by the sparkling effects of energetic particle impacts. 

HF Communications: 

HF radio propagation was disrupted during the storm days of the 14-16th, but worsened on the 18th when one company lost all signals for 80 minutes, leaving some aircraft with communications whatsoever during this period. 


Aurora observations were reported from Manassas, VA, (N38 degrees), St.Louis, MO, (N38 degrees), Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, (S36 degrees), and Bakersfield, CA, (N35 degrees).

2. Job Vacancy at the University College London in the Space Weather field
From Bob Bentley                                                           e-mail

A vacancy exists at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UniversityCollege London) in the field of Space Weather. The position will involve collaborative work between the Solar and Plasma Physics groups. A PhD in a relevant area of research is required.

The appointment will be for 3 years starting from Oct 1 2000 or soon after. Salary will be in the 1A scale for research staff in the range 16,286 -20,465 pounds sterling per annum.

For further information, please contact Louise Harra (,or Andrew Coates ( 
Information regarding MSSL can be found at 
Applications should include a full CV, publication list and the names of three referees to be sent to Mrs. E.Daghorn, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking,Surrey RH5 6NT, UK by 20 September 2000.

3. Presentation of assessment study results second an third flexi missions
From: Alain Hilgers                                              e-mail

The assessment studies for the second and third flexi-mission are now completed and their results are being published in reports to the ESA advisory bodies.

An open presentation of the six study results will be made on 12th September 2000 at UNESCO, Paris. The presentations are intended  to inform the
scientific community at large as well as the advisory and decision-making bodies of the Agency on all aspects of the proposed missions. Following these presentations, the six candidates will compete for the selection of three missions. Of these, the two highest priority missions will undergo industrial
definition studies as the F2 and F3 missions, while the third one will be subjected to an ESA internal definition study as a back-up should any of the selected F2 and F3 projects default.

Link name: Future missions pre-selection
Link URL:

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4. Survey of European Space Weather Resources
From Mike Hapgood                                               e-mail

The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is leading one of two parallel
contracts that are studying the requirements for, and possible implementation of, a Space Weather programme within the European Space Agency. 
As part of that study, our team is building up a database of available and planned European space weather resources. The purpose of this note is to invite the operators of those resources to contribute information for the database. We would also be very happy to exchange information with other people working on this topic (subject to agreement from the information providers).

The space weather resources that we will list include:
a. instruments measuring space weather relevant parameters in the various
space weather domains (Sun, heliosphere, magnetosphere, ionosphere/thermosphere and lower atmosphere). They will include both
ground-based and space-based instrumentation.
b. models that have the potential to convert space weather relevant parameters into other useful parameters, e.g. most importantly this includes
spatial interpolation and predictions linking dfifferent space weather domains, also predictions in time.
c. infrastructure providers that might support a space weather programme,
e.g. satellite ground-stations.

If you would like to submit information on a particular resource, please send the following information by Email to Mike Hapgood (Email:

1. A short description of the resource:
a. for instruments - the space weather domain studied, the instrument
location and type of measurement.
b. for models -  the space weather domain modelled, the form of modelling
(e.g. physics-based or statistical) and a short description of the modelling
c. for infrastructure - the type of infrastructure (ground-station, data
centre, etc)
2. The name and address of the operator/owner.
3. Whether the resource is operated/owned by a European organisation,
National agencies, academic organisation, private industry, government-owned
industry, etc.
4. A web address to information about the resource
5. If you are happy for this information to be passed to other interested

Please could I ask you to pass this note to any colleagues who you think may
be interested to contribute but who don't get this newsletter.

If you have any queries on this or any other aspects of our study, please
contact the study manager, Mike Hapgood (Email:

Other web links:
RAL study home page:
ESA study home page

Mike Hapgood                                         Tel:  +44 1235 44 6520
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory               Mob:  +44 789 9908 780
Chilton                                                    Fax:  +44 1235 44 5848
Oxfordshire  OX11 0QX                          Email:
United Kingdom
*****************************************************************  5. Some ESA Tender Actions from ESA EMITS
              (Open from 24/08/2000 to 05/10/2000, Act.Ref.: 00.117.04) 

         (Open from 21/08/2000 to 19/10/2000, Act.Ref.: 99.1WS.08) 

For more information:

Note: This newsletter is an initiative of the ESA Space Systems Environment Analysis Section  
and is intended to establish a prototype of a potential mailing 
list or forum with news of interest for the Space 
Weather community in Europe.

- SWEN contact group (which keeps SWEN informed of news coming from 
  other channels)is currently: 

 Eamonn Daly, ESA (excluding science programme) 
 Richard Marsden, ESA science programme 
 Maurizio Candidi, CNR 
 Paul Cannon, URSI-Commission G 
 Mike Hapgood,  EGS 
 Hannu Koskinen, SCOSTEP working group on Space weather 
 Pierre Lantos, ISES 
 Henrik Lundstedt, Lund space weather center 
 Goetz Paschmann, ISSI 
 Jean-Yves Prado, CNES Programme Directorate
 Michael Rycroft, ISU 
 Volker Bothmer, EGS-Solar Physics Secretary 
 Wolfgang Baumjohann, MPE-German Representative 
 Jinbin Cao, Chinese Space Weather Activity Representative 
 Barbara Poppe, NOAA Space Environment Centre 

SWEN archives are also available on:     

- Please direct all replies and submissions to the newsletter to: 

- To subscribe to the newsletter send your email address to:

- Please update your e-mail address if it has been changed. 
Please send both your new and old e-mail address to the editor for easier
updating of your file. 
We are looking forward to receiving your inputs. 
The SWEN editor 

Alain Hilgers 

Jean-Baptiste Alberico