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TitleThe genesis and development of space weather forecast in Canada
AuthorLam, H -L
SourceIR3 Infrastructure Resilience Risk Reporter vol. 1, issue 5, 2016 p. 10-25
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160134
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; geophysics; geomagnetism; magnetic storms; magnetic field; magnetic base stations; space weather; Canadian Magnetic Observatory System (CANMOS)
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience, Northern Canada Geohazards Project
AbstractCritical infrastructures such as power grids and pipelines on ground, and satellites in space are subject to the impact of space weather. Power lines and pipelines are long grounded conductors where geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) can flow and cause damages as a consequence of geomagnetic disturbances. Satellite surface can be penetrated by energetic particles that can result in spacecraft operational anomalies and even failures as a consequence of enhancement of particle fluxes during a space weather episode. The resilience of critical infrastructures can be dependent upon space weather forecasts that alert stakeholders to take preventative measures to save-guard their systems. Space weather forecast in Canada has its beginning in simple one-zone magnetic forecast dispatched by the Ottawa Magnetic Observatory in the 1970s. The Ottawa observatory is linked to the very first Canadian magnetic observatory established in Toronto in the 1830s, and the magnetic legacy of Canada can be traced to early explorers who took magnetic measurements in Canada. The humble beginning of the Ottawa Magnetic Observatory issuing simple forecasts has blossomed into a Canadian Space Weather Forecast Centre (CSWFC), which is a full-fledged Regional Warning Center (RWC Canada) of the International Space Environment Service (ISES). This article presents a history of geomagnetism in Canada from early explorers to the present day magnetic network, and an account of the evolution of space weather forecasting from the early day forecasts by the Ottawa Magnetic Observatory to the present day forecasts by CSWFC.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Space weather refers to the dynamic conditions on the Sun and in the space environment, in particular, in the near-Earth environment, that can affect critical infrastructure. NRCan operates the Canadian Space Weather Forecast Centre and conducts research into space weather effects on power systems, pipelines, radio communications and GNSS positioning to help Canadian industry understand and mitigate the effects of space weather. This paper describes the genesis and development of the Canadian Space Weather Forecast Centre.