Understanding the detailed spatial and temporal dynamics of the space environment is the key task in the basic solar-terrestrial research. This is inevitably related to the success in providing space weather forecasts to protect vulnerable technological systems. For example, power grids can be compromised by geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) that are created during large auroral storms.
In this project we study the spatial and temporal variations of ionospheric current systems during major geomagnetic disturbances, such as storms and substorms. As currents are most easily detected by the magnetic fields they create, we use data from magnetometers onboard satellites at low Earth orbit as well as on the ground around the auroral oval. Our results will pave way to more accurate predictions of auroral activity and GICs.
This project is a collaborative effort by researchers at the university of Oulu and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.