Solar flares have an impact reaching far beyond the Sun. On Earth, the impact of geomagnetic storms caused by solar flares can range from fantastic auroral displays, to devastating satellite damage that causes grid-wide blackouts. Ensemble is particularly excited about this past week’s geomagnetic storm, and the period of increased activity it seems to be preceding as it means more opportunities to utilize the Kamodo and Aurorasaurus technologies we support for the space weather community.
Our space weather modeling tool, Kamodo, gives physicists the ability to build, visualize, and advance compatible and containerized space weather models and data sources. Its key features include; a simple set-up, the ability to combine, use, and register custom functions without code, automated unit conversion, and drag and drop visualization. These features streamline and simplify the modeling process, therefore making it an accessible platform to those who aren’t fluent in a coding language. This type of space weather modeling technology will be necessary to prevent grid wide blackouts and satellite damage as solar activity and geomagnetic storms increase over the next few years. Kamodo continues to be developed by Ensemble with funding from its recent NASA Phase II SBIR award and support from the Parallel18 Accelerator in Puerto Rico.
On the other hand, Aurorasaurus is an app that allows citizen scientists from all over the world to report and share Auroras they spot on the ground. The app’s other capabilities include tweet verification, world-wide rankings, and information and tips about spotting auroras Because auroras are caused by geomagnetic storms resulting from solar flares, they too play an important role in helping predict and prepare for future space weather events.