Validation of an operational product to determine L1 to Earth propagation time delays
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Validation of an operational product to determine L1 to Earth propagation time delays
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    Space Weather-the International Journal of Research and Applications, 14(2), 93-112.
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  • Description:
    We describe the development and validation of an operational space weather tool to forecast propagation delay times between L1 and Earth using the Weimer and King (2008) tilted phase front technique. A simple flat plane convection delay method is currently used by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) to propagate the solar wind from a monitoring satellite located at L1 to a point upstream of the magnetosphere. This technique assumes that all observed solar wind discontinuities, such as interplanetary shocks and interplanetary coronal mass ejection boundaries, are in a flat plane perpendicular to the Sun-Earth line traveling in the GSE X direction at the observed solar wind velocity. In reality, these phase plane fronts can have significantly tilted orientations, and by relying on a ballistic propagation method, delay time errors of 15min are common. In principle, the propagation time delay product presented here should more accurately predict L1 to Earth transit times by taking these tilted phase plane fronts into account. This algorithm, which is based on the work of Weimer and King (2008), is currently running in real time in test mode at SWPC as part of the SWPC test bed. We discuss the current algorithm performance, and via our detailed validation study, show that there is no significant difference between the two propagation methods when run in a real-time operational environment.
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