New All-in-one Space Weather Tool from NASA

The press release doesn’t contain any pictures, and really doesn’t do this new web tool justice, so I’ve added some screencaps. In a nutshell, the new iSWA site lets you arrange graphical packages of solar images and plots oncsreen for simultaneous evaluation. Stuff that had been scattered over several solar related websites is now in one interface. Pretty cool. – Anthony

NASA Unveils New Space-Weather Science Tool

When NASA’s satellite operators need accurate, real-time space-weather information, they turn to the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) of the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The CCMC’s newest and most advanced space-weather science tool is the Integrated Space Weather Analysis (iSWA) system.

The iSWA is a robust, integrated system provides information about space weather conditions past, present, and future and, unlike many other programs currently in use, has an interface that the user can customize to suit a unique set of data requirements.

“The iSWA space-weather data analysis system offers a unique level of customization and flexibility to maintain, modify, and add new tools and data products as they become available,” says Marlo Maddox, iSWA system chief developer at NASA Goddard.

iSWA draws together information about conditions from the sun to the boundary of the sun’s influence, known as the heliosphere. The iSWA systems digests information from spacecraft including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), the joint European Space Agency and NASA mission Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).

Citizen scientists and science enthusiasts can also use the data, models, and tools of the iSWA system. Similar to the way in which armchair astronomers have used SOHO data to discover comets, enthusiasts will find the iSWA system a wonderful resource for increasing their familiarity with the concept of space weather.

“We are continuously evolving the iSWA system, and we hope that it will benefit not only NASA satellite operators, but also that it may also help space-weather forecasting at other agencies such as the Air Force Weather Agency and NOAA,” says Michael Hesse, chief of the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA Goddard.

Space-weather information tends to be scattered over various Web sites. NASA Goddard space physicist Antti Pulkkinen says the iSWA system represents “the most comprehensive single interface for general space-weather-related information,” providing data on past and current space-weather events. The system allows the user to configure or design custom displays of the information.

The system compiles data about conditions on the sun, in Earth’s magnetosphere — the protective magnetic field that envelops our planet — and down to Earth’s surface. It provides a user interface to provide NASA’s satellite operators and with a real-time view of space weather. In addition to NASA, the iSWA system is used by the Air Force Weather agency.

Access to space-weather information that combines data from state-of-the-art space-weather models with concurrent observations of the space environment provides a powerful tool for users to obtain a personalized “quick look” at space-weather information, detailed insight into space-weather conditions, as well as tools for historical analysis of the space-weather’s impact.

Development of the iSWA system has been a joint activity between the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA Headquarters and the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate and the Science and Exploration Directorate at NASA Goddard. The iSWA system is located at NASA Goddard.

The Community Coordinated Modeling Center is funded by the Heliophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, and the National Science Foundation.

Related Link:

› iSWA space-weather forecasting tool Web site

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28 thoughts on “New All-in-one Space Weather Tool from NASA

  1. There goes that “robust” word again!
    REPLY: Yah, I’m thinking we need a robust hit count meter for websites

  2. I take it back.
    The site will not work on IE. This makes it essentially useless.
    Too bad, the PR looked good.

  3. Not quite up to date. THis is what I got in the ALERT tab:
    CME Alert Countdown Sample: THIS IS SAMPLE DATA
    Issue Date: 2006-12-13 09:10:00.0
    Arrival Time: 2006-12-14 09:10:00.0 +/- 6 hours
    Disturbance Duration: 13 +/- 6 hours
    Alarm: On.

  4. kadaka (14:28:38) :
    REPLY: No, I think it stomps

    We have reached a consensus!
    =======

    CodeTech (14:35:22) :
    I take it back.
    The site will not work on IE. This makes it essentially useless.
    Too bad, the PR looked good.

    Ah, you’re a bit behind the curve. People have been calling IE essentially useless for ages.
    😉

  5. Without further research, let me guess they use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and so it doesn’t work for IE – Microsoft still has no SVG support AFAIK.
    SVG is a useful standard and sites like these might force Microsoft to switch on SVG support real soon now. I bet they already have 3 implementations ready and only hold it back to force people to use Silverlight. This will cost them marketshare and sooner or later they’ll do SVG as well. In my opinion, NASA did well by not letting this stop their design.
    I’m not a Microsoft basher and use both IE and Firefox.

  6. Actual temp reading or pre cooked?
    Shall we thank James Hansen or is this outside the realm of NASA GISS?

  7. “Climatologists have long known that human-produced greenhouse gases have been the dominant drivers of Earth’s observed warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution.”
    Hmmm…

  8. It seems broken using Chrome in the UK, of course that might be people from this, increasingly popular, website breaking their bandwidth 🙂

  9. kadaka (14:43:43) :
    =======
    CodeTech (14:35:22) :
    I take it back.
    The site will not work on IE. This makes it essentially useless.
    Too bad, the PR looked good.
    “Ah, you’re a bit behind the curve. People have been calling IE essentially useless for ages.”
    Odd then that IE actually rates highest in HTML standards compliance….

  10. All this leads one to ask the following question:
    Where is the whiz-bang real-time color-filled tool from NASA GISS for temperature? (Don’t we usually have to wait a week or so for ‘adjustments’ to trickle through the bureaucratic, hierarchal system before THOSE results are ‘published’?)
    MAybe I missed it/wasn’t paying attention in class when that was discussed …
    .
    .

  11. I see the trend of picking and choosing what data are “cool” and what are crap. Alllllll that terrible NASA data out there – but this is obviously good? I mean – robust?
    Apparently this website has taken over the role of “Decider” from Bush II.

  12. _Jim (17:11:50) :
    Where is the whiz-bang real-time color-filled tool from NASA GISS for temperature? (Don’t we usually have to wait a week or so for ‘adjustments’ to trickle through the bureaucratic, hierarchal system before THOSE results are ‘published’?)
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

  13. How come the sun looks like an oblate spheroid in all of the different modules? It should look like a near perfect sphere.
    I don’t see any SVG being used. Everything is based on PNG raster images, not vector graphics. I also noticed that they’re using the Dojo Toolkit (an open source Javascript library) which is known to have certain performance issues with IE 7/8.

  14. A very good idea on NASA’s part.
    But it really, really, needs a better help system. As it is, I think most people (including me) will be staring at a lot of meaningless graphs.

  15. Phil M (18:08:22) :

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

    Sorree/no workee for February, to wit, for February:

    Surface Temperature Analysis: Maps
    Error
    I cannot construct a plot from your input. Time interval: data not available yet.

    Not … real … time … data
    For January I did get the ‘usual’ splotchy GISS map though …
    (Post made on a 100% recycled AMD 1100 MHz Athon-based PC received from from my sister and which originally came with Win ME but now is running Xp)

  16. “The iSWA is a robust, integrated system provides information about space weather conditions past, present, and future…”
    If it is ROBUST and climate related, I tend to be skeptical…
    John Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee

  17. mikelorrey (16:30:13) :
    Odd then that IE actually rates highest in HTML standards compliance….

    Heh heh…
    You really should stop believing those M$ press releases. 😉
    Besides mere old HTML, there are lots of web standards that browsers need to be compliant in these days. The Acid3 Test checks for compliance with many web standards, and IE… is very, very lousy.
    Although it is likely very compliant with all those proprietary HTML extensions M$ has been trying to push over the years. 🙂

  18. Alan S (15:33:39) :
    It seems broken using Chrome in the UK, of course that might be people
    from this, increasingly popular, website breaking their bandwidth 🙂
    It’s working fine on Chrome (4.0.249.89) in the UK for me, so it’s not the browser.

  19. ” CodeTech (14:35:22) :
    I take it back.
    The site will not work on IE. This makes it essentially useless.
    Too bad, the PR looked good.”
    Why not use a real web browser?? IE is unsafe as heck and does not support the official web standards, which is exactly why sites render wrong in it. IE is at fault here not the website..

  20. Not related but: haven’t opened IE since at least 9 years ago when i switched to Opera and never looked back. Sometimes i open Firefox if i have compatibility issues and sometimes Chrome. But IE? someday perhaps… a bit like going aboard a DC-3

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