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 Earthâ€™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.
â€œWithout including those small-scale effects, itâ€™s like having blurry vision â€” the entire image changes,â€ said Slava Merkin, a space physicist at APL. â€œBut 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.â€
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.