The Auroral forecast at KHO is now available for all smart phone platforms including Android, iPhone and Windows. The apps were released on Andøya Rocket Range 50 years anniversary, to honor their contribution to space physics and cooperation with UNIS.
The app is part of an on-going research program to improve forecasts of the aurora and make it available to the public for free.
The original android app has been updated and converted by the company
Appex.no to work on
iPhone and Windows phones. It can be downloaded through
Windows Market place,
Apple App Store
and Google Play.
The program forecasts up to +1 hour in time the size and location of the auroral ovals or the impact zone
of energetic particles from the Sun, i.e. a green circular belt of auroral emissions around each geomagnetic pole.
It also includes local weather, solar illumination and star charts from 7 well known auroral observatories.
It is based on the well known relationship between the morphology of the auroral and the level of geomagnetic activity. This allows us to develop models
of the location of the auroral borders, independent of the vagaries of auroral observations. In addition, new models have evolved that
use data of particle precipitation measured by polar orbiting satellites.
Two methods by Starkov (1994) and Zhang & Paxton (2008) are used to mathematically calculate the size and location of
the auroral oval mapped onto a solar illuminated Earth globe (Sigernes et al. 2011a; 2011b). Both models only use planetary
(0...9) and time as input, which makes them ideal candidates for forecasting aurora.
The predicted Kp value is estimated by the Space Weather Prediction Centre
(NOAA-SWPC) using satellites that are located
upstream in the solar wind.