Space Weather Euro News -- SWEN

       Vol. 18, Issue 6 (28 October 2014)


1. GRL Call for Papers for “ESA's Swarm Mission, One Year in Space”

2. Start of the Athens Effective Flare Forecasting SSA-SWE Implementation

3. The COMESEP Alert System

4. EGU 2015 Session ST5.1/NH8.8: Call for Abstracts

5. ESWW splinter session: Space Weather Metrics, Verification & Validation, Liège, 17-21 November 2014

6. Open ESA Invitations to Tender (ITTs)


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*                      SPACE WEATHER EURO NEWS      -          S*W*E*N



1. GRL Call for Papers for “ESA's Swarm Mission, One Year in Space”


From: Benoit Lavraud <Benoit.Lavraud - at ->

On October 15 2014 the Geophysical Research Letters of AGU opened a special virtual issue on the first results from the three-satellite ESA mission SWARM, which is focused on the study of the Earth's magnetic

field and ionosphere - magnetosphere coupling. The closing date of the special issue is November 15 2014.

Manuscripts are invited for a special section of Geophysical Research Letters on first results from Swarm, ESA's Earth Observation satellite mission to investigate the Earth's magnetic field and ionospheric environment. This special section collects a series of papers that present the very first results from ESA’s Earth Observation satellite mission, launched on November 22, 2013. This mission, which comprises three satellites at low Earth polar orbits, with two spacecraft flying side-by-side at low altitude (about 460 km), and one flying at a slightly higher altitude (510 km), provides high-precision and high-resolution measurements of the strength, direction and variation of the magnetic field, complemented by precise navigation, accelerometer and electric field measurements. These, and the constellation configuration, make it possible to separate and model the various sources of the geomagnetic field and investigate the in situ behavior of the ionosphere. This special coll

ection presents the mission, some of its innovating instruments and the very first results and conclusions that could already be derived from the first year of Swarm in space.

For more details see:


2. Start of the Athens Effective Flare Forecasting SSA-SWE Implementation 


From: Manolis Georgoulis <manolis.georgoulis - at ->, Alexi Glover <alexi.glover - at ->

ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme has initiated an activity with the Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics (RCAAM) of the Academy of Athens, Greece to implement the fully automated solar flare forecasting utility A-EFFort (Athens Effective [Solar] Flare Forecasting). The 12-month A-EFFort activity will produce a new federated service prototype. This service will be accessible through the Agency’s Space Weather Segment (SWE) Portal 

The core of the A-EFFort utility comprises two state-of-the-art pattern-recognition and computational-analysis techniques: a proven solar active-region identification algorithm (ARIA) and a code for the calculation of the effective connected magnetic field strength (Beff) flare-prediction metric. ARIA will be implemented on full-disk solar magnetograms acquired by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission, while Beff will be calculated on each ARIA-identified active region. Updated C-, M-, and X-class flare forecasting probabilities for each active region and for the entire earthward solar hemisphere will be available every three (3) hours and will pertain to a 24-hour forecast window, with automated electronic messages intended for registered users in the event of significant probabilities for major flares. The A-EFFort utility will be regularly maintained for a period of at least three (3) years following the projec

t’s expiration and aims to be upgraded to a core tool of the SSA/SWE toolbox.

For additional information on A-EFFort, please contact the Project Manager, Manolis K. Georgoulis (manolis.georgoulis - at -, or the ESA SSA Programme Office: Juha-Pekka Luntama (juha-pekka.luntama - at - and Alexi Glover (alexi.glover - at -


3. The COMESEP Alert System 


From: Norma B. Crosby <norma.crosby - at ->

The COMESEP (COronal Mass Ejections and Solar Energetic Particles) Alert System is approaching its first year launch anniversary and provides geomagnetic storm alerts ("Event based" and "Next 24 hours") as well as solar energetic particle (proton) storm alerts (E > 10 MeV and E > 60 MeV). Observations of solar phenomena such as coronal mass ejections and solar flares trigger the system. After the automatic detection in solar data of any of these transients, the different modules of the system communicate in order to exchange information. Alerts are based on the COMESEP definition of risk that combines the likelihood of occurrence of the predicted event with its estimated impact at Earth. The system runs continuously 24/7 and produces a series of coherent alerts that are displayed online and sent via email to subscribed users.

The COMESEP Alert System can be found online ( and registration to email alerts is free of charge. An extensive set of help pages is available, including background material, as well as information on the tools that are integrated in the system. This system was developed under the three-year EU FP7 project COMESEP (263252) that concluded in January 2014. The consortium was led by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in collaboration with six European Institutes (University of Graz, Royal Observatory of Belgium, HVAR Observatory, Technical University of Denmark, National Observatory of Athens, University of Central Lancashire).


4. EGU 2015 Session ST5.1/NH8.8: Call for Abstracts


From: Christina Plainaki <christina.plainaki - at->

Abstract submission is now open for the co-organized Session of the EGU General Assembly 2015 (12-17 April 2015): ST5.1/NH8.8 "Predicting solar storms and their effects on short- and long-term (co-organized)"

Abstract submissions are invited to the session. A full description of this session along with the contact details of both convenersare given here:

The EGU General Assembly 2015 details can be found in the conference website:

Key dates:

** The abstract submission deadline is 7 January 2015, 13:00 CET. **

** Please note that the Deadline for Support Applications is  28 November 2014 **


5. ESWW splinter session: Space Weather Metrics, Verification & Validation, Liège, 17-21 November 2014


From: Suzy Bingham <suzy.bingham - at ->, Alexi Glover <alexi.glover - at ->

Attendees of European Space Weather Week 11 to be held in Liège from 17th - 21st November 2014 are invited to participate in a splinter session on metric verification and validation for space weather models and services. The splinter will take place on Thursday 20th November 2014 from 16:30 until 18:00.

In order to provide reliable services to end-users, it is crucial to understand the strengths and potential limitations of the various elements underpinning those services. This includes the assumptions and algorithms on which models are based, and also the reliability of the associated infrastructure: e.g. data systems, space and ground-based measurement infrastructure. This also includes situations during extreme solar and geomagnetic conditions. At the present time, within the space weather community, prototype services frequently operate as capability demonstrators and a full verification of their ability to reproduce/predict elements of the space environment under a range of space weather conditions, from the moderate to the extreme, has yet to be completed. Forecast accuracy has recently been addressed by a number of separate activities, but as yet a community-wide consensus on how to address this question and provide relevant information supporting end-users, service d

evelopers and modellers themselves for the wide range of models and domains involved has not been reached. 

This splinter encourages dialogue between modellers, service developers and stakeholders including service users. The meeting will review current activities and initiatives ongoing both in Europe and internationally and investigate potential applicability of well-established processes already in place within the meteorological community. We discuss space weather verification & validation needs for the current generation of activities under development and in planning in Europe, together with opportunities for modellers and scientific community to further participate in the space weather endeavour.

A provisional agenda is shown below:

16:30  Introduction

16:35  Towards a verification framework for forecasts of different centres, Andy Devos, J. Andries, C. Verbeeck, D. Berghmans (STCE-ROB) Belgium.

16:45  Verification of extreme event forecasts, Institute of Space Physics, Peter Wintoft, IRF, Sweden

16:50  SWENET Index Quality Statistics & Database Assessment, Alexi Glover, ESA.

16:55  “Performance Verification of Solar Flare Prediction Techniques: Present Status, Caveats, and Expectations”,Manolis Georgoulis, Academy of Athens, Greece, 

17:00  The use of modified Taylor diagrams for comparing geophysical models, Matthew Angling, University of Birmingham, UK.

17:10  Translating verification experience from Meteorology to Space Weather, Suzy Bingham, Met Office, UK.

17:20  Lessons learned from CCMC-led community-wide model validation challenges.  Outlook on international coordination of M&V activities, Maria Kuznetsova, CCMC , USA.

17:30  Discussion.

18:00  Finish.


6. Open ESA Invitations to Tender (ITTs)



Open invitations to tender:


(From 22/09/2014 to 03/11/2014, Act.Ref.: 14.1QC.02)  


(From 10/06/2014 to 31/12/2015, Act.Ref.: 14.136.01)


Note: This newsletter is an initiative of the ESA Space Environments and Effects Analysis Section ( and is intended to provide a forum for information posting news of interest to the Space  Weather community in Europe.

- SWEN contact group (keeping SWEN informed of news from other channels) is currently:

  Rumi Nakamura                 Austrian Academy of Sciences

  Anna Belehaki                 Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate

  Volker Bothmer                EGU - Solar Physics Secretary

  Jinbin Cao                    Chinese Space Weather Activity Representative

  Eamonn Daly                   ESA (excluding science programme)

  Maurizio Candidi              IAPS/INAF - Italian National Research Council (CNR)

  Norma Crosby                  EGU - Solar-Terrestrial Sciences Division President

  Mike Hapgood                  Space Science Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)

  Francois Lefeuvre             Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

  W. William Liu                Space Science Program, Canadian Space Agency

  Henrik Lundstedt              Lund space weather center

  Philippe Escoubet             ESA Science programme

  Terry Onsager                 NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre

  Jean-Yves Prado               CNES Programme Directorate

  Michael Rietveld              EISCAT Scientific Association

  Michael Rycroft               International Space University (ISU)

  Juha-Pekka Luntama            Head of ESA SSA Space Weather Element

  Stefaan Poedts                Space Weather Working Team Chair

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SWEN editor : Piers Jiggens 

SWEN manager: Alain Hilgers