NASA AI model could help world prepare for impact of solar storms

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A new computer model that combines artificial intelligence and agency satellite data could help prepare for hazardous space weather, NASA said Thursday.

The model, called DAGGER (Deep Learning Geomagnetic Perturbation), uses technological tools to analyze spacecraft measurements of the solar wind and predict where an incoming solar storm will hit Earth — with 30 minutes’ advance warning. with

An international team of researchers from the Frontier Development Lab said the model can generate predictions in less than a second, with predictions updated every minute.

The laboratory is a partnership that includes NASA, the US Geological Survey and the Department of Energy.

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the solar flare on October 2, 2014. A solar flare is a bright flash of light at the apex. A burst of solar material exploding into space can be seen to its right. (Credit: NASA/SDO)

The scientists used AI to explore the relationship between the solar wind and geomagnetic disturbances, applying a method called “deep learning” that trains computers to recognize patterns based on past examples.

The model was tested against previous geomagnetic storms from August 2011 and March 2015, with DAGGER accurately predicting the storm’s effects. Previously, models used AI to make forecasts for specific locations, but NASA said DAGGER is the first to combine AI with real measurements to produce consistent and accurate forecasts around the world.

Vishal Upendran of the Inter-University Center for Astronomy said, “With this AI, it is now possible to make rapid and accurate global predictions and inform decisions in the event of a solar storm, thereby minimizing the devastation to modern society. or preventable.” and Astrophysics in India, who are lead authors of a paper on the DAGGER model published in the journal Space Weather, said in a statement.

In this handout from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, a large solar flare is shown in progress on October 28, 2003.

In this handout from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a large solar flare is shown in progress on October 28, 2003. (NASA via Solar and Heliospheric Observatory/Getty Images)

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He noted that the computer code in the DAGGER model is open source, and can be adopted by power grid operators, satellite controllers, telecommunications companies and others to apply predictions to specific needs.

NASA said such work could provide enough time for storms to brace and prevent impacts on the power grid or critical infrastructure — as much as, say, a solar storm that could one day hit power stations and satellite control centers around the world. may have sirens.

When solar wind sheds from the Sun strike Earth’s magnetic environment, it sometimes produces geomagnetic storms that can be mild to extreme.

In a screen grab taken from a handout timelapse sequence provided by NASA / SDO, a sunspot at the center of the Sun is captured from where the first X-class flare in four years erupted on February 14, 2011.  Pictures were taken.  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft has revealed the source of the strongest flare fired by the Sun in four years, prompting warnings that a geomagnetic storm is about to reach Earth. The latter can disrupt communication and power supply.  magnetic field.

In a screen grab taken from a handout timelapse sequence provided by NASA / SDO, a sunspot at the center of the Sun is captured from where the first X-class flare in four years erupted on February 14, 2011. Pictures were taken. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft has revealed the source of the strongest flare fired by the Sun in four years, prompting warnings that a geomagnetic storm is about to reach Earth. The latter can disrupt communication and power supply. magnetic field. (NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory via Getty Images)

The most intense solar storm on record set fire to telegraph stations and prevented messages from being sent in 1859.

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Today, widespread power outages, frequent blackouts and disruptions in global communications will be felt even more strongly, threatening security around the world.

NASA also noted that the risk of geomagnetic storms is increasing as we approach the next “solar maximum” in 2025: a peak in the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle.

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