Press Release

Federal Data Corporation Announces Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NOAA’s Space Environment Center and Release of Solar Irradiance

By SpaceRef Editor
October 10, 2000
Filed under, a
division of Federal Data Corporation (FDC), has a strategic vision to
provide customers with the world’s premier space weather information
and forecasting technologies.

That vision is based on combining the leading-edge space physics
models and aerospace applications to accurately characterize the space
environment. FDC partners with government agencies, university
researchers, and industry leaders to provide cutting-edge,
applied-research solutions to adverse solar-terrestrial effects.

To that end, on May 2, 2000, Federal Data Corporation announced
the signing of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
(CRADA) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
(NOAA) Space Environment Center (SEC) headquartered in Boulder, CO.

The duration of the CRADA is for three years with a three-year
option. The joint project team is comprised of SEC employees Rodney
Viereck, Principal Investigator (PI), Tim Fuller-Rowell, and Joe
Kunches and FDC representatives Kent Tobiska (PI) and Dave Bouwer.

This agreement enables FDC and the SEC to jointly develop a Solar
Irradiance Specification Tool derived from SOLAR2000, an empirical
solar radiation forecasting model developed by FDC scientists.

The specification tool uses SEC and non-SEC environmental data to
produce near-real-time daily measurements of solar radiation across
the full spectrum from X-rays to the radio wavelengths. The FDC model
also enables forecasting of future solar radiation for periods ranging
from 72 hours to eleven years.

These irradiation measurements and forecasts can be combined with
other environmental and general space physics models to help
satellite, communications, electric power and other industries better
predict and respond to solar activity affecting their operations. The
tool is compliant with the emerging International Standards
Organization (ISO) solar irradiance standard.

On September 1, 2000, FDC released the solar irradiance model,
SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.05. The model is available as freeware to
science and engineering researchers in the form of a user-friendly
IDL(c) application with a graphic user interface.

It produces the entire solar spectrum at 1nm resolution from the
x-rays and extreme ultraviolet to the radio wavelengths for five solar
cycles from 1947 to 2000.

One application that has excited the satellite user community is
the provision of the new E10.7 proxy from SOLAR2000. The E10.7 proxy
represents the total integrated solar extreme ultraviolet irradiances
that are responsible for heating and ionizing the upper atmosphere.

E10.7 is used in place of the more traditional F10.7 solar proxy
in models and was shown to be more accurate in specifying the solar
variability that causes satellite atmospheric drag.

SOLAR2000 has recently achieved several milestones. It will become
the first solar empirical model to be certified for compliance with
the developing ISO solar irradiance standard.

It was recently identified in the U.S. National Space Weather
Program Revised Implementation Plan (July 2000) as the single
empirical solar irradiance model in development during this decade. It
has also been selected by NOAA/SEC as their candidate for the
operational nowcast of solar irradiances.

Dr. W. Kent Tobiska, the CRADA and the SOLAR2000 PI for FDC,
remarked “The NOAA/FDC CRADA is a remarkable step in the evolution of
a space weather industry. FDC, through, will provide NOAA
with an operational solar model for daily irradiance nowcast.

NOAA, on the other hand, will provide with raw data
and a non-competitive environment to provide high time resolution and
forecast irradiances for space weather applications.“ He added, ”It is
an excellent example of the marriage between government and industry
in an effort to develop a viable space weather industry.“

For access to, please link to
For contact information, please link to is a registered servicemark of Federal Data

About Federal Data Corporation

Federal Data Corporation is a leading provider of information
technology, engineering and scientific services and solutions to
Federal agencies. FDC is headquartered on Bethesda, MD. For more
information about the company, including the engineering and
scientific services they provide, visit their web site at

FDC is a registered servicemark of Federal Data Corporation.

SpaceRef staff editor.