FLARECAST

Flare Likelihood And Region Eruption foreCASTing

THE FULLY AUTOMATED SOLAR FLARE FORECASTING SYSTEM

A Horizon2020 PROTEC (Protection of our Assets in Space) Research and Innovation Action

THE SOLAR FLARE THREAT

A solar flare is a flash of brightness on the surface of the sun. During a flare a huge amount of energy (up to a billion hydrogen bombs) is released, heating the solar plasma, accelerating particles and propagating into space. Big flares and other manifestations of eruptive solar activity are the main drivers of space weather near the Earth.
– After 8 minutes, a flare may cause radio blackouts.
– After 20 minutes, a flare may cause a solar radiation storm.
– After 2-4 days, a flare, followed by a coronal mass ejection, may cause a geomagnetic storm.
Solar flares can affect satellite operations, aviation and communication technologies.

WHAT IS FLARECAST ABOUT?

Until recently, solar activity wasn’t considered a notable threat for our planet. In the 21st century, however, we have become more vulnerable due to the technologies our societiy depends on. Should a very strong solar storm hit the Earth, it may not only cause damage to space-based technology but also to communication systems, transportation networks, pipelines, and power grids on the ground. Reliable space weather predictions are vital for taking mitigation measures in time.

The FLARECAST consortium develops an automated forecasting system for solar flares. By the end of 2017, the team will have integrated the most prominent solar flare-predicting parameters into a user-friendly online facility, flexible enough to facilitate future expansion. We will evaluate existing predictors to identify the best performers through the use of a variety of statistical, supervised (e.g. machine-learning) and unsupervised (e.g. clustering) techniques. A robust exploration work package will aim to identify promising new predictors and connect flare prediction to other manifestations of solar eruptive activity such as coronal mass ejections.

FLARECAST BENEFIT

SCIENCE

Heliophysicists and space weather forecasters throughout the globe will be able to couple their preferred flare predictors to an array of flare-prediction algorithms, advancing their own research. They will also be able to validate their results on a voluminous archive of SDO/HMI solar active regions magnetogram data. More

GOV & INDUSTRY

Institutions such as aviation industries, satellite operators and insurance companies or government agencies concerned with risk management related to solar flares will be able to use our flare prediction service for enhancing their own risk assessment and mitigation strategies. More

PUBLIC

Amateur space weather forecasters can integrate the online flare prediction service into their own prediction systems. For the wider public, our outreach programme offers opportunities to meet FLARECAST scientists, participate in the observation of the sun both online and outdoors and gain insight about how space weather forecasting is being carried out in Europe. More

THE SUN NOW:
SAMPLE NEAR-REALTIME DATA FROM THE SDO AND GOES SATELLITES

Sonne

X-ray flux
showing flaring activity

Sonne

White light

Sonne

Magnetogram

Sonne

Magnetogram and Extreme UV

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON THE FLARE PREDICTION USER INTERFACE?

HOW FLARECAST WORKS

A custom visual outcome oriented both towards the average and the scientifically inclined user,
served by a robust administration management.

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FLARECAST WORK PACKAGES – WHAT WE DO

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THE CONSORTIUM

THE FLARECAST TEAM

The backbone of the FLARECAST concept is the fusion of diverse expertise at the service of an optimal solar-flare prediction. Besides employing European expertise in solar physics, the consortium comprises experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence, big data handling, software engineering and programming, as well as hardware technicians and maintainers.

A distinct but equally important component of the FLARECAST project is dissemination, education and public engagement. Dissemination will rely on the expertise of the UK national forecasting agency, the MET Office.

The education and public outreach programme aims to engage the public in observation activities, citizen science projects or space weather forecasting using near-realtime data.

Meet us here

Dec 12-16, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, USA

Jan 12-13, First FLARECAST Stakeholder Workshop, Exeter, UK

CONSORTIUM MEMBERS

AA

Academy of Athens, Greece

Coordinator, flare predictors, explorative research

 Email

NU

Northumbria University, United Kingdom

Project scientist, flare predictors, validation

 Email

TCD

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Flare predictors, validation, explorative research

 Email

UNIGE

Universita Degli Studi Di Genova, Italy

Algorithms, infrastructure

 Email

CNR

Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Italy

Algorithms

 Email

CNRS

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Explorative research

 Email

PSUD

Université Paris-Sud, France

Infrastructure

 Email

FHNW

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland

Infrastructure, validation, public engagement

 Email

MO

Met Office, United Kingdom

Validation, dissemination

 Email

FLARECAST on Twitter


MORE ONGOING EUROPEAN SPACE WEATHER PROJECTS

PROGRESS – Prediction of Geospace Radiation Environment and Solar Wind Parameters

HESPERIA – High Energy Solar Particle Events foRecastIng and Analysis

HELCATS – The Science of Tracking Solar Storms

F-Chroma – Flare Chromospheres: Observations, Models and Archives

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