Joint Working Group

Improved understanding of space weather events and their monitoring by satellite missions

Joint with Commission 4, Sub-Commission 4.3

Chair: Alberto Garcia-Rigo (Spain)
Vice-Chair: Benedikt Soja (Switzerland)


The JWG3 aims at investigating different approaches to monitor space weather events using the data from different space geodetic techniques and, in particular, combinations thereof. Simulations will be beneficial to identify the contribution of different techniques and prepare for the analysis of real data. Different strategies for the combination of data will also be investigated, in particular the weighting of estimates from different techniques in order to increase the performance and reliability of the combined estimates. Furthermore, existing algorithms for the detection and prediction of space weather events will be explored and improved to the extent possible. Additionally, the geodetic measurement of the ionospheric electron density will be complemented by direct observations from the Sun gathered from existing space craft, such as SOHO, ACE, SDO, Parker Solar Probe, among others. The combination and joint evaluation of multiple datasets from different space geodetic observation techniques (e.g., geodetic VLBI) is still a great challenge. In addition, other indications for solar activity – such as the F10.7 index on solar radio flux, SOLERA as EUV proxy or rate of Global Electron Content (dGEC), provide additional opportunities for comparisons and validation.


These include the identification of the key parameters useful to improve real time/prediction of ionospheric/plasmaspheric VTEC, Ne estimates, as well as ionospheric perturbations, in case of extreme solar weather conditions. In general, we will gain a better understanding of space weather events and their effect on Earth’s atmosphere and near-Earth environment.


Current activities:

  • Identify solar weather data sources publicly available
  • Determine key parameters and products affected by selected space weather events

Planned for the near future:

  • Identify the main parameters useful to improve real time determination as well as prediction of ionospheric/plasmaspheric Vertical Total Electron Content and electron density estimates, in case of extreme solar weather conditions and distinguishing between different latitudes
  • Improving (near) real time determination of the electron density within the ionosphere and plasmasphere to detect space weather events in collaboration with JWG1

List of publications

Garcia-Rigo A. and Soja B. (2020). New GGOS JWG3 on Improved understanding of space weather events and their monitoring. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (p. 20492).
Borries C., Wilken V., Jacobsen K. S., Garcia-Rigo A., Dziak-Jankowska B., Kervalishvili G., …, Hoque M. M. (2020). Assessment of the capabilities and applicability of ionospheric perturbation indices provided in Europe. Advances in Space Research, 66(3), 546-562.

(last update 09.2020)