NASA has selected a team led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to develop modeling technologies that can help visualize geomagnetic storms that impact the Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt satellite communications.
APL’s Center for Geospace Storms and its partners will receive funding to undergo concept development throughout a two-year period as part of NASA’s space and solar physics-focused Diversity, Realize, Integrate, Venture, Educate, or DRIVE, Science Centers effort, APL said Wednesday.
The CGS-led team, which includes SRI International, Virginia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, plan to use NASA and NCAR high-performance computing platforms to visualize the celestial storms that result from solar eruptions.
The researchers intend to integrate small- and large-scale geospace phenomena through high-resolution models and data analysis to provide a contextualized visualization of geomagnetic storms.
“Without including those small-scale effects, it’s like having blurry vision — the entire image changes,” said Slava Merkin, a space physicist at APL. “But to simulate this enormous system and simultaneously capture these very fine interactions, you need a computer model that can be both a telescope and a microscope.”
NASA selected CGS for the DRIVE program in March. The team may continue its research and development work for seven years if chosen for the second phase.