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Friday, December 15, 2017 02:43:25

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Real Time Solar Wind - Phase II

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Real-Time Solar Wind (RTSW) data refers to data from any spacecraft located upwind of Earth, typically orbiting the L1 Lagrange point, that is being tracked by the Real-Time Solar Wind Network of tracking stations.  The NOAA/DSCOVR satellite became the operational RTSW spacecraft on July 27, 2016 at 1600UT (noon EDT, 10am MDT).
 
SWPC maintains the ability to instantaneously switch the spacecraft that provides the RTSW data.  During times of outages in DSCOVR data or problems with the data, this page may instead display the data from the NASA/ACE spacecraft.
 
Ground station tracking status for the DSCOVR satellite is available here http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/dscovr-schedule-tracking.
 
What’s New: There is a lot new here.  Maybe the biggest one is, you can get access to all of the RTSW plasma and magnetometer since February 1998.  As you zoom in to shorter time periods, the resolution of the data displayed will increase automatically.  The highest resolution available can be 1 second magnetometer and 20 second thermal plasma data.  You can view data from the operational spacecraft or choose between DSCOVR and ACE.  You can also overlay model output from WSA-Enlil and/or GEOSPACE, as well as 27-day recurrence data.  The geomagnetic K and A indices can also be plotted.
 
Tabs along the bottom of the plot allow different default plots to be chosen.  These include data ranges of 2 hours up to ~20 years and displays with only Magnetometer, only Solar Wind Plasma, or a combination of both as well as other features described below.  
 
Display of data values: When mousing over the data (or 'tapping' with a mobile device), data values are displayed within the graph.
 
Zoom: Zoom by click and holding on the start (end) of the interval and then moving the mouse to the end (start) of the interval before releasing the mouse click (on mobile devices use 'pinch-zoom').  This defines the zoom area.  The thin bar at the bottom shows the zoom area relative to the full range of data.  Double click (tap) zooms out to the default interval.  Holding down the shift key while double-clicking steps out the time range by a factor of two.
 
 
Menus/Buttons (in a row below the data plots)
 
• 'Time' ['2 hours', '6 hours', '1 day', '3 days', '7 days',’30 days’,’54 days’,’1 year’,’5 years’, ‘all’]:
Selects the display default duration.  All plots automatically update adding new data on the right and dropping data on the left as it ages off.  
 
• Series: Allows the user to display only the magnetic field data, only the solar wind plasma data, or a combination of both, along with planetary K and A indices.  One can also choose to display data from DSCOVR, ACE, or the active spacecraft, where SWPC specifies which spacecraft is operational.  Recurrence data from 27 days (1 solar rotation) earlier can be overplotted.  The WSA-Enlil time series prediction can be displayed, as well as the Geospace propagated solar wind at 32 Earth radii.  Y-Axis scaling can also be set here.  Finally, one can enter specific plot start and end times.  They must be within the current default duration as specified by the left most button.  Also, the brackets indicate that hh:mm:ss is optional.  Do not include the brackets when entering a time.
 
• Save as text: Will download an ascii text file (named rtsw_plot_data_YYYY-MM-DDThh_mm_ss.txt) containing the data shown in the current display.
 
• Save as Image: Will download a .PNG image (named plot_image.png) of the current display.  The data values displayed will default to the most recently available data.
 
• Options: Allows the user to choose between 'white' or 'black' as the plot background color.  The user can choose to connect the points with a 'Line', to just plot the points 'Marker', or use a hybrid approach.  The y-axis annotation can be displayed all on one side or on alternating sides.  Finally, the user can choose to show flags that indicate for any data value which spacecraft provided the data along with some data quality indicators.  For example, both ACE and DSCOVR thermal plasma data can be suspect when densities are low.

Plotted on this page are data from the 'active' real-time solar wind spacecraft.  Since July 27, 2016 NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR (link is external)) has been the operational spacecraft. Only magnetometer and solar wind thermal plasma data are displayed.

The two DSCOVR instruments for which data are available:

An inverse chronological list of Real-Time Solar Wind Announcements

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The Faraday Cup Data Processing Unit (IDPU) experienced two recent interrupts that resulted in data outages.  These were the first times this occurred in the life of the mission.

Nov 06, 2017 17:49 UT

Nov 28, 2017 03:26 UT

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October 10, 2017: Safe Hold #14
DSCOVR had its 14th safe hold event today.  All of the safehold events so far are listed below.

Safehold # / Date
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1 / Jun 23, 2015
2 / Jun 28, 2015
3 / Jul 15, 2015
4 / Aug 04, 2015
5 / Sep 29, 2015
6 / Oct 08, 2015
7 / Jan 06, 2016
8 / Jan 14, 2016
9 / May 24, 2016
10 / Sep 17, 2016
11 / Oct 11, 2016
12 / Oct 30, 2016
13 / Aug 24, 2017
14 / Oct 10, 2017

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October 2, 2017 13:59 UT

Changes were made to the Faraday Cup flight software to alter the behavior of the instrument.  Essentially, the instrument now waits longer between scans to reduce the impact of spurious noise that was causing the instrument to lose the solar wind proton peak.  This change may not eliminate the loss of peak tracking issue completely, but it is a significant step in the right direction.

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October 27, 2016 17:26 UT

A change was made to the Faraday Cup processing to remove some of the noise that was resulting in higher than expected densities and temperature.  The change ignores high energy noise that was resulting in wider than expected velocity distributions.

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July 27, 2016

NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) became the operational RTSW spacecraft.  It replaced the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft, which has been in use since 1998.

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Real-time Solar Wind and Magnetometer data is now available in JSON format for up to the past 7 days from the SWPC Data Service.  These JSON files will automatically include the data from the active RTSW spacecraft.  By default, that has been DSCOVR since July 27 at 1600 UT.

A complete DSCOVR data archive is available at the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information.  

 Anyone with questions about these data, the DSCOVR spacecraft, or tracking of DSCOVR should contact Douglas Biesecker (link sends e-mail).