Transforming community access to space science models



Researching and forecasting the ever changing space environment (often referred to as space weather) and its influence on humans and their activities are model-intensive disciplines. This is true because the physical processes involved are complex, but, in contrast to terrestrial weather, the supporting observations are typically sparse. Models play a vital role in establishing a physically meaningful context for interpreting limited observations, testing theory, and producing both nowcasts and forecasts. For example, with accurate forecasting of hazardous space weather conditions, spacecraft operators can place sensitive systems in safe modes, and power utilities can protect critical network components from damage caused by large currents induced in transmission lines by geomagnetic storms.