Risk management of the effects of solar activity. Device and a procedure that compute the magnetic disturbance associated to solar activity at mid-latitudes.


Technology abstract

The research team specialized in Space Weather within the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain), has developed a procedure able to compute the magnetic disturbance associated to solar activity at mid-latitudes (the LDi geomagnetic index). The LDi index is an essential element in risk management of the effects of solar activity to prepare a successful strategy. 

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- Andrea Marí -

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Technology Description

The developed procedure is based on the measurement of the local geomagnetic field, is able to compute the magnetic disturbance associated to solar activity at mid-latitudes. The determination of this magnetic disturbance is especially relevant in cases of sporadic but explosive solar phenomena.
From the perspective of a potential user, the actual invention constitutes an essential element in risk management of the effects of solar activity on vulnerable technologies, whether it is ground-based or satellite-based (electric power systems, railway transport , satellite navigation systems, radio and satellite communication systems ...), increasing the capacities of public administrations, civil protection and emergencies and the companies themselves, in order to prepare a successful strategy for adverse conditions related to the solar activity.
The effects that the energetic particles, the electromagnetic radiation and the modification of the geomagnetic field produce in the terrestrial environment are very varied and have very different time scales. They can affect health directly or indirectly, through failures in technology that society uses daily, for example, radio communications, satellite navigation systems, or even more important,
failures in critical infrastructures such as electric power networks, railway transport or large pipelines carrying gas or fuel between countries.
The present offer, the LDi index, describes a method of obtaining the local geomagnetic disturbance component at mid latitudes in real time and with high resolution (1 minute) by removing different components of undisturbed geomagnetic field, from the magnetic field measured on the Earth's surface (solving the existing prior problems in the state of the art).
The procedure is made available as a software package or implemented in a device, being the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field on the surface of the Earth the input measurement, which can be obtained directly from geomagnetic sensors properly calibrated and isolated from any artificial electromagnetic disturbance. It can also be obtained from real-time data provided by geomagnetic observatories via remote connections. The method for obtaining the LDi index is an invention that includes a model for geomagnetic quiet days at mid latitudes for the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field. The procedure implies the characterization of geomagnetically quiet or disturbed periods by means of an evaluation of the goodness of fit of the invented model to the data, from which has been previously subtracted an auxiliary trend curve of the average values during night time. The method can be implemented in the device to determine the local geomagnetic perturbation in real time.
The LDi index monitors in real time the local geomagnetic disturbance which may affect vulnerable technologies. LDiñ constitute a unique asset for the implementation of risk management procedures for power networks, pipelines, or for the communication sector affected by the ionospheric state.

Innovations & Advantages

The innovative character of the present invention comes from the application of the model for a geomagnetic quiet day at mid-latitudes, where the solar regular variation (magnetic daily variation associated with the electric current system generated by solar radiation in the Illuminated zone of the Earth), presents great variability from day to day, which make it difficult to obtain. The model invented to determine the daily geomagnetic variation is a smooth curve which differentiates two types of control points: some fixed to zero intensity during night hours, and others during daylight hours free to move in intensity, offering the (parameters) degrees of freedom necessary for the adjustment of the model to the data.
There are currently no similar devices or procedures offering a local geomagnetic index capable of monitoring the local disturbance field for mid latitude and able to offer one-minute resolution data.

Further Information

Provide additional information that might help a prospective technology receiver to judge the usefulness of the technology, for example performance parameters or operational limits.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Industrial Manufacture, Material and Transport technologies
  • Energy
  • Physical and Exact Sciences
  • Measurements and standards
  • Environment and risk prevention
  • Socioeconomics