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Seminar: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 3:30pm

Solar Shield - Forecasting and Mitigating Solar Effects on Power Transmission Systems
Antti Pulkkinnen
Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center (GEST), UMBC

The Solar Shield project is a collaborative effort between the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and NASA. It was launched to utilize state-of-the-art space physics models in experimental space weather forecasting. More specifically, Solar Shield is using an extensive pool of coupled space physics models hosted at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA/GSFC. The models propagate information obtained from solar observations to the interplanetary medium, from the interplanetary medium to the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere and eventually all the way down to the surface of the Earth. Here is where geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) flowing in high-voltage power transmission systems are calculated. The two-level forecasting system provides both 2-3 day lead-time and 30-60 minute lead-time forecasts, and it is already capable of generating predictions of GIC flow at few individual nodes of the North American power transmission system.

An important special aspect of the project is the participation of the end-user, i.e. power transmission industry, in the development of the forecast products. The goal is to define a system, which, when integrated into EPRI’s SUNBURST decision support tool, will help power transmission system operators to make decisions about possible mitigation actions during “poor” space weather conditions. Industry participation will also enable quantification of the economic value of the generated GIC forecasting system. The result of the economic analysis can be used to indicate if there is a business case for transitioning the experiment into operations.

Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401
Coffee: 3:15 p.m.