Space Weather
  • Open Access

A survey of customers of space weather information

Authors


Corresponding author: C. J. Schrijver, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA. (schrijver@lmsal.com)

Abstract

[1] We present an analysis of the users of space weather information based on 2783 responses to an online survey among subscribers of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center e-mail services. The survey requested information focused on the three NOAA space weather scales: geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts. Space weather information is most commonly obtained for reasons of human safety and continuity or reliability of operations. The information is primarily used for situational awareness, as aid to understand anomalies, to avoid impacts on current and near-future operations by implementing mitigating strategies, and to prepare for potential near-future impacts that might occur in conjunction with contingencies that include electric power outages or GPS perturbations. Interest in, anticipated impacts from, and responses to the three main categories of space weather are quite uniform across societal sectors. Approximately 40% of the respondents expect serious to very serious impacts from space weather events if no action were taken to mitigate or in the absence of adequate space weather information. The impacts of space weather are deemed to be substantially reduced because of the availability of, and their response to, space weather forecasts and alerts. Current and near-future space weather conditions are generally highly valued, considered useful, and generally, though not fully, adequate to avoid or mitigate societal impacts. We conclude that even among those receiving space weather information, there is considerable uncertainty about the possible impacts of space weather and thus about how to act on the space weather information that is provided.