Check out the ACE-HF propagation software - the latest is version 2.05. ACE-HF is propagation forecasting and modeling for Amateur Radio as well as for Shortwave radio Listening and general HF operation. This software is even used by the military and other clients around the world. This software is developed and maintained by the same engineers that keep VOACAP up-to-date. As a result, this software is the most accurate user interface integrated with VOACAP. CHECK IT OUT, TODAY. This software is the most accurate modeling software available, and is endorsed by NW7US. Read the details to find out why.
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Map, Above: Conditions in the D region of the ionosphere have a dramatic effect on high frequency (HF) communications and low frequency (LF) navigation systems. The global D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) depicts the D region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes.
Note: At times, images may appear broken or missing, when SDO is working on the AIA/HMI instruments.
Planetary A-index (Ap): 21
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 3
Solar Wind: 602 km/s at 5.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -3.0 nT
(Mar 30, 2017 at 0009 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [B4.5][0126Z 03/29] 24h hi [B4.5][0126Z 03/29]
Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days
Mar 28 2017 :: B1.3
Mar 27 2017 :: B1.0
Mar 26 2017 :: A3.0
Mar 25 2017 :: A0.0
Mar 24 2017 :: A1.2
Mar 23 2017 :: A1.6
Here is a video introduction to shortwave / HF amateur radio -- what is it that we amateur radio oprators listen to? If you have not yet been introduced to this world, this is a very basic introduction.
If you are using software utilities such as Ace-HF, that require a "smoothed" sunspot number
(Referred to as the SSN), or, the smoothed 10.7-cm Radio Flux Index,
use the following predicted values in this following table:
Predicted SMOOTHED Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values
With Expected Ranges
At 0805 UTC, on 9 August 2011, a strong magnitude X6.9 X-ray flare -- the strongest yet in this current solar cycle (Cycle 24) -- erupted on the northwestern solar limb. Here is a HD Movie of the event:
Videos of Interest - Space Weather, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, and more... from the NW7US YouTube Channel. (Click on the small image to launch the video...)
Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge
Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011 (Close-up of the video, above)
Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011
Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal
The NW7US Current Sunspot and Geophysical Activity Report
The observations, prognastications, and comments by NW7US
NW7US is Tomas David Hood, Propagation and Space Weather Columnist
for CQ Communications
More about Background X-rays
The hard X-ray energy present from the wavelengths of 1 to 8 Angstroms provide the most effective ionizing energy throughout all of the ionospheric layers in our atmosphere. The GEOS satellites measure these wavelengths and the resulting measurements are reported as the "background X-ray level" throughout the day. A daily average is reported, as well.
Just like X-ray flares, the background hard X-ray level is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2), reported using the categories, A, B, C, M, and X. These letters are multipliers; each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.
If one records the daily background X-ray levels for the course of a sunspot cycle, one would discover that the background X-ray levels remained at the A class level during the sunspot cycle minumum. During the rise and fall of a solar cycle, the background X-ray energy levels remained mostly in the B range. During peak solar cycle periods, the background energy reached the C and sometimes even M levels.
Armed with this information, can we discover any clues as to the current status of Sunspot Cycle 24? Below is a graph plotting the background hard X-ray energy reported by the GEOS satellites since the end of Sunspot Cycle 22. Clearly, we see a noticeable rise in Cycle 24 activity. We're seeing the energy mostly in the B level more often, supporting the view that Cycle 24 is alive and moving along toward an eventual sunspot cycle peak in several years.
Overall, the monthly average background 'hard' X-ray level is rising (as seen by the following plot), showing a change from deep solar cycle minimum. We are certainly in the rising phase of Sunspot Cycle 24. While it has been a slow up-tick over the last eighteen months, I expect to see a more rapid rise during mid to late 2011.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 20 - 26 March 2017
Solar activity was very low during through 24 March. However, by 25 March, a region began to develop in the NE quadrant and was numbered as Region 2644 (N12, L=054, class/area, Dao/050 on 26 March). As this region grew, it produced multiple B-class flares as well as a C1/Sf at 27/0000 UTC. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the period.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal to moderate levels on 20-21 March and reached high levels from 22-26 March. The largest flux of the period was 19,100 pfu observed at 23/1735 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G1 (Minor) storm conditions. The period began under nominal solar wind conditions with solar wind speed near 310 km/s and total field near 4 nT. This continued until a co-rotating interactive region (CIR) preceding a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) became geoeffective starting around 21/0027 UTC. Total field increased to a maximum of 18 nT by 21/0722 UTC while the Bz component deflected southward to -17 nT at 21/0607 UTC. Solar wind speed began to increase beginning at 20/2349 UTC and reached a maximum of 755 km/s 22/1513 UTC. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet conditions on 20 March, quiet to G1 (Minor) storming on 21 March, and unsettled to G1 (Minor) storming on 22 March. By 23 March, a secondary increase in total field and solar wind speed was observed. Total field increased from 2 nT to 10 nT while the solar wind speed increased from 550 km/s to near 730 km/s. From 24 March through the end of the period, solar wind conditions gradually returned to nominal levels. However, late on 26 March, an increase in density and total field was observed around 2000 UTC followed by a solar sector boundary crossing into the negative sector suggesting the onset of a subsequent CIR preceding a negative polarity CH HSS. The geomagnetic field was at quiet to active conditions on 23 March, quiet to unsettled levels on 24 March, and quiet levels on 25-26 March.
Monthly and smoothed sunspot number - The monthly mean sunspot number (blue) and 13-month smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last five cycles. You can see that this current cycle, Cycle 24, is a weak cycle, compared to the last few.
(Click to see actual size)
Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)
Daily sunspot number (yellow), monthly mean sunspot number (blue), smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last 13 years and 12-month ahead predictions of the monthly smoothed sunspot number:
SC (red dots) : prediction method based on an interpolation of Waldmeier's standard curves; It is only based on the sunspot number series.
CM (red dashes) : method (from K. Denkmayr and P. Cugnon) combining a regression technique applied to the sunspot number series with the aa geomagnetic index used as a precursor (improved predictions during the minimum phase between solar cycles).
(Click to see actual size)
What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:
Active sunspot regions, and plages, identified by SIDC
Latest GOES 15 Image of the Sun
What is coming
Real Time Solor Wind and Aurora:
On Z: Bz: nT
Bx: nT | By: nT | Total: nT
Most recent satellite polar pass:
Centered on // : UTC Aurora Activity Level was at UTC
visit noaa for latest.
This is a video of the simulation from May 27-28, 2011, showing
the Geomagnetic disturbance caused by the solar wind
Outlook: (valid from 1230UT, 29 Mar 2017 until 31 Mar 2017)
29 Mar 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 084 / Ap: 026
30 Mar 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 083 / Ap: 012
31 Mar 2017 10.7-cm Flux: 081 / Ap: 007
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Active conditions expected (A>=20 or K=4) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): Over the past 24 hours solar activity has returned to B-class eruptive level. There have been seven B-flares flares originated at NOAA AR 2645 (McIntosh:Dai; Mag.Type:Betta-Gamma).The biggest flare B4.5 peaked today (29-Mar-2017) at 01.40 UT originated at NOAA AR 2646 (McIntosh:Axx; Mag.Type:Alpha) which is about to rotate over the east limb. No Earth- directed CMEs have been detected over the past 24 hours. Solar protons have remained at background levels over the past 24 hours. Solar X-Ray background level is expected to remain low. NOAA AR 2645 is expected to produce more B-class flares over the next 24 hours. C-class flares are also not excluded. Over the past 24 hours, solar wind speed measured by DSCOVR remained stable with the average value around 700 km/s till 06:00 UT today (29-Mar-2017). Then the speed dropped abruptly till 630 km/s. WSA-ENLIL model indicates the Earth is out of influence of the high speed stream. Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) remained stable with the value around 4 nT. Bz variations remained at low level (varying mostly between -4 nT and +4nT). The geomagnetic field stayed at active conditions level (K Dourbes between 2 and 4; NOAA Kp between 3 and 4). Active to unsettled geomagnetic conditions (K Dourbes < = 4) are expected today and tomorrow. TODAY'S ESTIMATED ISN : 047, BASED ON 16 STATIONS.
Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)
Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flares on days one, two, and three (08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec).
The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to minor storm levels on day one (08 Dec), quiet to active levels on day two (09 Dec) and quiet levels on day three (10 Dec).
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
27 March - 22 April 2017
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a chance for isolated C-class flares from Region 2644 during its transit across the visible disk from 27 March - 04 April.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at normal to moderate levels with high levels likely from 29 March - 11 April and again from 18-22 April due to CH HSS influence.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels from 27 March - 06 April and 17-19 April with G1 (Minor) storm levels likely on 27-31 March and 17-18 April. G2 (Moderate) storm levels are likely on 28-29 March. Heightened activity during these periods is due to recurrent CH HSS effects. Quiet conditions are expected for the remainder of the forecast period.
Be sure to check the Date shown in each photo - is it today's date?
(click to enlarge)
Check out these books on Radio Propagation:
+ The New Shortwave Propagation Handbook (Paperback) - by George Jacobs, Theodore J. Cohen, R. B. Rose. The NEW Shortwave Progagation Handbook may well be the only book you'll need on the subject of ionospheric propagation! It is a "must read" for Radio Amateurs, Shortwave Listeners, and radio communicators of any type who need to make the most productive use of the radio spectrum, regardless of the time of day, the season of the year, or the state of the sunspot cycle. It will become your ever-present companion a the operating table as you master the art of shortwave radio progagation.
+ How Radio Signals Work (Paperback) - by Jim Sinclair. This book provides a basic understanding of the way radio signals work-without becoming bogged down with the technicalities. It covers all kinds of radio signal types--including mobile communications, short-wave, satellite, and microwave. No detailed knowledge of electronics or mathematics is required. A-Z coverage of radio signals including satellites, mobile communications, and short-wave radio. No math or electronics background necessary.
+ Introduction to RF Propagation (Hardcover) - by John S. Seybold. This book provides readers with a solid understanding of the concepts involved in the propagation of electromagnetic waves and of the commonly used modeling techniques. While many books cover RF propagation, most are geared to cellular telephone systems and, therefore, are limited in scope. This title is comprehensive-it treats the growing number of wireless applications that range well beyond the mobile telecommunications industry, including radar and satellite communications.
Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC
Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is Copyright, 2017, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.