Build upon the successes of the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY 2007, http://ihy2007.org/), the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), at its fifty-second session, agreed to include a new agenda item entitled "International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI)" in the schedule of the agendas of its Technical and Scientific Subcommittee, with specific focus on the effects of space weather on the Earth. Under a three-year work plan (2010, 2011, 2012), ISWI will utilize the ground-based world-wide IHY instrument arrays under deployment since 2005.
The International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) is a programme of international cooperation to advance the space weather science by a combination of instrument deployment, analysis and interpretation of space weather data from the deployed instruments in conjunction with space data, and communicate the results to the public and students. ISWI is a follow-up activity to the successful International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY 2007), but focusing exclusively on space weather.
The goal of the ISWI is to develop the scientific insight necessary to understand the science, and to reconstruct and forecast near-Earth space weather. This includes instrumentation, data analysis, modeling, education, training, and public outreach.
Space weather in terms of science and technology is important in exploring the solar corona and understanding the functioning of the Sun; understanding the effects that the variability in the Sun can have on the Earth's magnetosphere, environment and climate; exploring the ionized environments of planets; and reaching the limits of the heliosphere and understanding its interaction with interstellar space.
As society becomes increasingly dependent on space-based systems, it is vital to understand how space weather, caused by solar variability, could affect, among other things, space systems and human space flight, electric power transmission, high-frequency radiocommunications, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) signals, as well as the well-being of passengers in high altitude aircraft.
Severe magnetic storms resulting from coronal mass ejections are causes of failures of many geostationary orbit communication satellites, radio blackouts and power outages on Earth. The ability to predict space weather accurately could assist in preventing or minimizing impacts of severe magnetic storms on space-based services and systems and on ground power systems.
International cooperation in research and development activities in the field of solar-terrestrial physics is important to all nations, in particular developing nations, owing to the high cost of such activities and the increasing involvement of all nations in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
photo credits: NASA
The special edition of " Sun and Geosphere", the international Jouranl of Research and Applications (ISSN 1819 - 0839), dedicated to the Proceedings of the 2012 United Nations/Ecuador Workshop on International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI):
The International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) has been very active in promoting the installation of new ground-based instrumentation in non-traditional locations. In particular, there has been substantial progress in the observation of the equatorial ionosphere, solar transients, and energetic particles from space. In the coming decade these observations will become available in real time and will be an important new data source for the forecasting of space weather events. New instruments are either in the process of deployment, or planned over the next decade. Similarly, the International Living with a Star (ILWS) program has been very active coordinating the plans of the world's space agencies in the planning of new space missions, and in the development of space weather modeling and forecasting.
The Expert Meeting will feature an introductory and overview session with very general talks about space weather, followed by a session on the current state of forecasting, sessions on ground-based instrumentation including GNSS, and sessions on new observational concepts for space missions that will provide new data for space weather forecasting in the future.
The Meeting will be held in conjunction with the 51st session of the Scientific and Tehcnical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) to be held on 10 - 21 February 2014, Vienna, Austria.
ILWS Tenth Anniversary, Symposium and Celebration, 12 - 14 February 2013, Vienna, Austria
Major elements of ISWI is dissemination of information on the ground-based world-wide instrument arrays through the ISWI Newsletter and through the ISWI Website. The ISWI Newsletter is published by the International Center for Space Weather Science and Education (ICSWSW) of Kyushu University, Japan.
Subscription to the Newsletter is available by sending a blank email to ISWInewsletterfirstname.lastname@example.org. On an exceptional basis, the inaugural issue of the ISWI Newsletter has also been distributed as hard copy.
Website (external link): http://www.iswi-secretariat.org/