The Solar Irradiance Platform spectrum
The Solar Irradiance Platform full solar spectrum provides 1 nm resolution from the X-rays to the far infrared wavelengths. Other formats include the aeronomy community's SC21REFW 0.1 nm format as well as the Torr and Torr 39 wavelength groups and lines. The daily time resolution is available historically back to February 14, 1947 and forecast out to 5 solar cycles. Around the time of the current epoch, hourly solar proxy values are produced and placed into one of eight 3-hour bins for each day from -48 to +72 hours. These time bins correspond to the ap geomagnetic index bins and the 5-day/3-hourly format is used for high time resolution space operations centered on the current epoch. As new upgrade versions of Solar Irradiance Platform are provided, there is improved accuracy and variability in different spectral regions.
- Solar Irradiance Platform daily historical irradiances are available to the research community for free through an IDL© GUI application. Once the free 30-day license of SIP expires, it will run only with historical data. The Solar Irradiance Platform requires IDL© version 6 or higher for licensed IDL users. For users without an IDL license, the Solar Irradiance Platform model is also accessed by the IDL 6.0 virtual machine which is automatically included in the instllation package. To download the Solar Irradiance Platform, visit our Download Page.
The Solar Irradiance Platform provides a capability to forecast solar irradiances by using a client application that transparently retrieves the hourly updated Solar Irradiance Platform operational data files from Space Environment Technologies central server. Developed for engineering applications, it also is used in operational forecasts.
- Developed for real-time operations, the Operational Grade provides historical, nowcast, and forecast irradiances (including high time resolution) for operational customers. Data is provided via server access to SET's central server system at an hourly update cadence.
Designed as an complete, independent turn-key system on the customer's own UNIX-based computer, the System Grade provides full in-house operational capability with a redundant data stream provided SET's central server. Operational performance is assured at the 99.99% confidence level.
Solar Irradiance Platform full spectral irradiances and integrated irradiance proxies can be used for a wide variety of applications:
- Historical databases of solar influence on the perturbed thermosphere and ionosphere
- Post-event analysis for satellite anomalies and HF radio communications
- LEO satellite mission planning activities
- Orbit debris removal validation
- Theater-of-operations capability assessments.
Other capabilities of the Solar Irradiance Platform model include:
- Coupling with space physics models such as MSIS, IRI, or MET and with global, first principles thermospheric models as the solar driver to produce thermospheric and ionospheric parameters. Derived thermospheric mass densities can be input into long-term orbit predictors for estimating satellite lifetimes and orbit debris removal.
- Solar Irradiance Platform, coupled with other space physics models, together provide insights into the phenomena of space weather.
- Solar Irradiance Platform professional grade, operational grade, and system grade models have both nowcast and daily forecast capabilities. The latter two models also provide high time resolution along with the Ap/Kp geomagnetic parameters to provide a complete set of proxies typically used in thermospheric and ionospheric operational models.
- Regular and continuous upgrades to Solar Irradiance Platform are released. These upgrades include additional spectral range variability (FUV, UV, VIS, IR), enhanced accuracy with the inclusion of new datasets and improved proxy regression algorithms, improved specification of the uncertainty in the irradiances, the development of nowcast and forecast irradiances along with the historical representations, and the development of new integrated irradiance proxies for user communities. The convention for the model Grade designation is explained here:
- RG - Research Grade provides daily historical to current epoch data through a platform-independent IDL GUI application;
- PG - Professional Grade provides daily historical through current epoch to forecast data in addition to analysis tools through a platform-independent IDL application;
- OP - Operational Grade provides daily historical, hourly nowcast, 72-hour (3-hour interval) forecast, and daily forecast data from the SET proprietary operational server; and
- SY - System Grade provides historical, nowcast, forecast data in all time resolutions as a turn-key system on at a user-specified location.
- When there is a change in the first version number, e.g., 1.yz to 2.yz, there has been a major change that extends the Solar Irradiance Platform wavelength range. When there is a change in the second digit, e.g., 1.1z to 1.2z, a dataset used to derive the model has been upgraded or added. When there has been a change in the third digit of the version number, e.g., 1.16 to 1.17, there has been a proxy, software, or functionality upgrade. Under some situations there are minor bug-fixes which append a letter to the version number, e.g., 1.15 to 1.15a.
- Solar Irradiance Platform v1.yz is variable in the XUV/EUV part of the spectrum while v2.yz is variable in the XUV/EUV/FUV/UV. Upgrades in progress include v3.yz VIS/IR variability and v4.yz physics-based model variability. The versioning convention of x.yz for Solar Irradiance Platform upgrade releases is:
- x: variability of the model’s spectral range
- 1: empirical XUV/EUV (1–122 nm);
- 2: empirical XUV–UV (1–420 nm);
- 3: empirical XUV–IR (1–2000 nm);
- 4: hybrid empirical and physics-based (1 – 1,000,000 nm);
- y: data improvement
- 0: original 12 rocket observations (AFGL f74113, sc21refw, f79050n, f79226, f79314; USC 82222, 83228, 88298, SERTS_96; LASP nov_1988, 1992, 1993, 1994), 1 reference spectrum (ASTM E-490), 4 satellite datasets (SOLRAD, AEE monochromators, YOHKOH/SXT, SOHO/CDS), and 3 theoretical spectra (Avrett);
- 1: SOHO (SUMER, SEM, CDS accuracy in solar minimum short wavelengths);
- 2: SNOE, TIMED (SEE) and SDO (EVE) (accuracy in all spectra <200);
- 3: UARS, TIM, and SIM (UV, VIS, IR accuracy);
- 4: ISS (SOL-ACES, SOLSPEC, TSI) (solar cycle upgrade to full spectrum);
- 5: GOES EUV and POES UV/VIS data (minutely time resolution); and
- z: code improvement and bug fixes
- 0-9: new features, algorithm, and code improvements;
- a: minor bug fixes; and
- b: internal beta test version.
- The upgrades of Solar Irradiance Platform versions, e.g., Solar Irradiance Platform v1.24 to v2.22, are provided at no additional charge for subscribers. Whenever there is a change in the version number, the registered customers are notified by email and an announcement is placed at the main Space Environment Technologies web page (http://SpaceWx.com).
The Solar Irradiance Platform (SOLAR2000, Research Grade) empirical solar irradiance model is made available, at no charge, to the science and engineering research community. In all publications, please acknowledge the irradiances used from this model with the following statement:
'Solar Irradiance Platform historical irradiances are provided courtesy of W. Kent Tobiska and Space Environment Technologies. These historical irradiances have been developed with partial funding from the NASA UARS, TIMED, and SOHO missions.'
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