Solenix leading the development of a new Space Radiation Application in support of Spacecraft Operators

26 March 2020

Solenix together with its consortium partners DH Consultancy and SPARC have been awarded a new contract to design and develop a new tool to support spacecraft operators in the monitoring, forecasting, and reporting of the space weather environment and its influences on spacecraft operations. The development forms part of ESA’s Space Safety Programme which is continuing the work of the Space Situational Awareness Programme to develop a European network of Space Weather services targeting end user needs.

This new tool will build on previous experience and developments to provide an application that leverages the current network of resources of the SSA Space Weather Service Network. This application will provide a tailored, easy to use interface for spacecraft operators to access a wealth of models, data and expertise on space weather and its potential impacts on their operations.

The application will allow spacecraft operators to get an overview of the current and forecasted environmental conditions that may affect their spacecraft. It will focus on two main aspects:

  • Monitoring and forecasting in-orbit space weather effects.
    Monitoring can for instance be achieved by visualising the space weather environment conditions depending on the orbit of the spacecraft. For the forecasting, the combination of predictions provided by modelling and spacecraft orbit propagators, can potentially warn operators about upcoming space weather events in future locations of their spacecraft.
  • Reporting space weather effects for post-event analysis.
    The combination of space weather information and spacecraft data can support operators in the analysis and reconstruction of recent events. Correlating different data sets can help reveal the root causes of an anomaly or the impact of an event. 

To achieve the goals of this project, our consortium will also count on the support of a number of commercial and institutional spacecraft operators, who have agreed to help refine user needs and use cases for the study in order to help guide the design of the application.

We are very happy to support the European Space Agency and the Space Safety Programme once again with such an interesting and motivating assignment. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with all involved partners and stakeholders.

Image credit: ESA