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Global Positioning System Energetic Particle Data: The Next Space Weather Data RevolutionThe Global Positioning System (GPS) has revolutionized the process of getting from point A to point Band so much more. A large fraction of the worlds population relies on GPS (and its counterparts from other nations) for precision timing, location, and navigation. Most GPS users are unaware that the spacecraft providing the signals they rely on are operating in a very harsh space environment the radiation belts where energetic particles trapped in Earths magnetic field dash about at nearly the speed of light. These subatomic particles relentlessly pummel GPS satellites. So by design, every GPS satellite and its sensors are radiation hardened. Each spacecraft carries particle detectors that provide health and status data to system operators. Although these data reveal much about the state of the space radiation environment, heretofore they have been available only to system operators and supporting scientists. Research scientists have long sought a policy shift to allow more general access. With the release of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan organized by the White House Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) a sample of these data have been made available to space weather researchers. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the National Center for Environmental Information released a months worth of GPS energetic particle data from an interval of heightened space weather activity in early 2014 with the hope of stimulating integration of these data sets into the research arena. Even before the public data release GPS support scientists from LANL showed the extraordinary promise of these data.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Knipp, Delores J.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Giles, Barbara L.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
March 31, 2017
Publication Date
August 19, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Space Weather
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Volume: 14
Issue: 8
ISSN: 1539-4956
e-ISSN: 1542-7390
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits

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