|8/13/2009 by mdc|
|Geomagnetic storms are a natural hazard, like hurricanes and tsunamis, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecasts for the public's benefit. Severe geomagnetic storms cause communications problems, abruptly increase drag on spacecraft, and can cause electric utility blackouts over a wide area. The location of ACE at the L1 libration point between the earth and the sun will enable ACE to give about a one hour advance warning of impending geomagnetic activity.|
NOAA has arranged for the transmission of a subset of data from four ACE instruments during the times when ACE is not transmitting it's full telemetry to the Deep Space Network. For about 21 of 24 hours per day, ACE will send data (~464 bps) to NOAA operated ground stations. During the other three hours when NASA is getting high rate data through the Deep Space Network, NOAA will get a copy of the real time data. NOAA will process all the data (using algorithms provided by the ACE experimenters) at its Space Weather Operations (SWO) in Boulder, Colorado, which will issue any warnings of expected geomagnetic activity.