Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Seminar Series - Dr. Rodney Viereck

Date: February 15, 2018
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

Title: "Space Weather and the Introduction of Numerical Models to Improve Forecasts"

Abstract: Space weather refers to the conditions in the space environment that impact systems and technologies both in space and on the ground.  The relevant regions of the space environment start at the sun, transits the interplanetary space, encompasses Earth’s protective magnetosphere, and extends down through the ionosphere to the surface of Earth.   Each of the regimes has unique physical properties and requires different sets of approximations and assumptions.  Much like terrestrial weather, space weather storms comes in many forms including solar flares, energetic protons and electrons, and geomagnetic storms.   Each type of space weather storm occurs on different time scales and impacts different types of technologies.  

In this presentation, I will provide an overview of space weather, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, and the customers who use our products and services.  I will describe the methods and techniques that forecasters use to predict space weather.   I will present an overview of the models that are currently being used in operations as guidance to the forecasters.  These operational models include the Space Weather Modeling Framework developed at the University of Michigan.  I will discuss the model development activities that are underway to improve existing models and add new models to the suite of tools currently available to the forecasters.

Biography: Dr. Rodney Viereck received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Alaska studying the aurora, airglow, and the upper atmosphere.  He spent eight years with the Air Force Research Laboratory where he studied the optical, chemical, and dynamical processes near spacecraft in low Earth orbit. He participated in more than sixteen experiments on twelve space shuttle missions. 

Dr. Viereck has spent the last 22 years at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center where he is currently the head of the Applied Research Section and the Director of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Test-bed. His group focuses on the development of applications and models and the transition of models into operations to support of space weather forecasters.  His research interests include: space weather and its effects on the terrestrial environment and technologies; solar X-ray-EUV-UV irradiance impacts on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere; the aurora; sun-climate connections.