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Comparative analysis of NOAA REFM and SNB(3)GEO tools for the forecast of the fluxes of high-energy electrons at GEO
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    Space Weather-the International Journal of Research and Applications, 14(1), 22-31.
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  • Description:
    Reliable forecasts of relativistic electrons at geostationary orbit (GEO) are important for the mitigation of their hazardous effects on spacecraft at GEO. For a number of years the Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA has provided advanced online forecasts of the fluence of electrons with energy > 2 MeV at GEO using the Relativistic Electron Forecast Model (REFM). The REFM forecasts are based on real-time solar wind speed observations at L1. The high reliability of this forecasting tool serves as a benchmark for the assessment of other forecasting tools. Since 2012 the Sheffield SNB(3)GEO model has been operating online, providing a 24 h ahead forecast of the same fluxes. In addition to solar wind speed, the SNB(3)GEO forecasts use solar wind density and interplanetary magnetic field B-z observations at L1. The period of joint operation of both of these forecasts has been used to compare their accuracy. Daily averaged measurements of electron fluxes by GOES 13 have been used to estimate the prediction efficiency of both forecasting tools. To assess the reliability of both models to forecast infrequent events of very high fluxes, the Heidke skill score was employed. The results obtained indicate that SNB(3)GEO provides a more accurate 1 day ahead forecast when compared to REFM. It is shown that the correction methodology utilized by REFM potentially can improve the SNB(3)GEO forecast.
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