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Milestones (Press Announcements, Upgrades, and Release Notes)

12 Jun 2019

Public Outreach: Summer Sidewalk Astronomy

Bring the moon, planets and stars a little closer to home! Local astronomers Aric Vyhmeister and Freddy Cruz offer a fun and informative discussion on space-related topics inside, then head outside for a stargazing session in the fresh air. Refreshments provided. June - August, Stanley Lake Library, Denver, CO.

26 Apr 18

On April 26, 2018 SET's President W. Kent Tobiska testified to House Science, Space, and Technology Committee joint session hearing of the Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Space regarding the impacts, prediction, and role of government in space weather (‘swim-lanes’?utm_medium=email&utm_source=FYI&dm_i=1ZJN,5MFCW,OPM01C,LUU0Q,1). Dr. Tobiska’s oral and written testimony can be found here.

Also see: Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Space Hearing: Surveying the Space Weather Landscape.

24 Nov 15 -SET participated in organizing the Space Weather Effects in Aviation technical session at the National Business Aviation Association meeting in Las Vegas, November 2015.

20 May 15 - "Commercial space weather supports passage of HR- 1561 and calls for a Space Weather Economic Innovation Zone" SET congratulates the House of Representatives on the passage of HR1561, the Weather Forecast and Innovations Act of 2015.

12 Aug 14 - "Statospheric Test Ballon Flights Begin this Year (Discovery News, Jul 29, 2014)", Arizona-based World View aims to loft passengers to the stratosphere by late 2016, and will start launching research and educational payloads on its unmanned test flights later this year. SET will be participating by including an instrument for the "Stratospheric Automated Radiation Measurements for Aviation Safety" project.

10 Jul 13 - "NASA's DC-8 Flight Helps Validate New Technologies", describing the successful tests of the aircraft radiation monitoring system (NAIRAS).
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9 Aug 12 - "Life on Mars and Water in Nevada on AU Wednesday" Featured on the UPR Utah Public Radio.
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14 Dec 10 - "Space Weather Gets Real—on Smartphones, Tobiska, W. Kent," Featured on the American Geophysical Union homepage (
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9 Jul 10 - "Space Environment Technologies Opens Corporate Office in North Logan, Utah", Utah State University Technology Commercialization Office.

8 Jun 10 - Here is an NPR Marketplace story from W Kent Tobiska. You can hear the story, titled "Scientists warn solar flares could disrupt power grid", on the Marketplace website, at:

30 Sep 09 - The Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP) v2.36 version has an additional option now available for users behind a firewall.

12 Aug 09 - Space Environment Technologies announces that the Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP) v2.36 is now available. This is a maintenance release, addressing minor bugs. Note that current Professional-grade SIP users will receive this update automatically when they start the SIP application.

19 Dec 08 - Modeling Radiation Exposure for Pilots, Crew and Passengers on Commercial Flights (NASA Press Release).

San Francisco -- A group of researchers led by NASA, in collaboration with Space Environment Technologies, Inc., the National Center for Atmospheric Resarch (NCAR), and Dartmouth College, are building a model that can predict the solar and cosmic radiation exposure for crews and passengers on commercial airline flights. Researchers will be presenting their preliminary work at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on Friday, Dec. 19.

While it may not be commonly known, airline flight crews are currently classified as "radiation workers," a federal designation that means they are consistently exposed to radiation. Flight crews on high-latitude routes, in fact, are exposed to more radiation on an annual basis than nuclear plant workers.

But unlike in other fields, radiation exposure is not measured in the airline industry, nor are there standards or limits regarding exposure.

A NASA Applied Sciences project called NAIRAS, Nowcast of Atmosphere Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety, seeks to build tools that use real-time data and modeling to estimate radiation exposure. The issue has been of concern to pilots, crews and scientists for some time, but this will be the first real-time, data-driven, global model to predict not just cosmic background radiation, but also radiation during solar storm events.

Passengers and flight crews are exposed to radiation because the shielding from Earth's atmosphere against high-energy solar particles and cosmic rays is weaker at normal cruising altitudes than at the surface. The threat is even greater for flight paths that take planes near the poles, because the momentum shielding by Earth's magnetic field is weaker at high latitudes. The concern is greatest for flight crews and frequent flyers because of their consistent exposure over long periods.

Christopher Mertens, a senior research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center and the NAIRAS principal investigator, said the model should provide the most accurate estimations yet of the biologically damaging radiation doses received by airline crews and passengers. The model will use measurements from ground-based neutron monitors, atmospheric temperature and density, solar particle flux and solar wind parameters to "nowcast" exposure levels. Measurements from the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft and NOAA GOES satellites are used in the model.

Learn more at:

7 Dec 2008 - Space Environment Technologies announces that the Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP) v2.35 is now available with the capability of accessing version 4.0 JB2006 and JB2008 solar indices, Dst/DTC, and Ap data. Both JB2006 and JB2008 produce improved densities compared to earlier Jacchia or MSIS type models as demonstrated by AFRL and ESA researchers. AF analyses show reductions to 8% 1-sigma density uncertainty at historical epochs using JB2008 compared to 15-20% 1-sigma uncertainties in earlier Jacchia and MSIS type models. An ISTI analysis showed JB2006 had a 5-6% mean prediction error for Early Ammonia Servicer spacecraft reentry dates during the IADC reentry challenge campaign (November 2008) starting about 13 days prior to reentry. This compared with 6-9% error for JR-71, MSIS-90, and NRLMSIS-00 models. JB2008 was not yet available for testing at the time of the IADC campaign but is expected to improve upon JB2006 results.

7 Oct 2008 - Space Environment Technologies announces the release of the JB2008 thermospheric density model at the JB2008 quicklink on New solar indices, Dst/DTC, and Ap data drive the model. JB2006/JB2008 are important for analysis and operational uses. The same indices (historical values only) up to 60 days prior to the current epoch are available at the JB2006 and JB2008 web sites: However, historical values are not sufficient to provide the accuracy and fidelity needed for LEO satellite operations, especially during active solar conditions. Up-to-date indices are important for mission critical activities such as achieving orbit determination precision, debris and collision avoidance maneuvers, reentry planning, and orbit management including propellant management.

4 Aug 2008 - Space Environment Technologies announces the release of the Geosynchronous Alert and Prediction System (GAPS) at the GAPS quicklink on GAPS representation of the realtime charging and deep dielectric discharging probabilities at GEO orbit are useful for monitoring space weather hazards for GEO communication satellite operations.

11 Jun 2008 - Space Environment Technologies announces that the Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP) v2.34 is now available with the SOLARFLARE code has been updated to provide 1 minute time resolution.

May 2008 - Space Environment Technologies and Space Environment Corporation announce that the release of the Communication Alert and Prediction System (CAPS) at the CAPS quicklink on CAPS, and the associated Earth Space 4D (ES4D) representation of the realtime ionosphere and HF communication in Google Earth are useful for aviation, HF radio, UHF & L-band satellite link users. NASA issued a simultaneous press release for CAPS and ES4D at

11 Apr 2008 - Space Environment Technologies is pleased to announce that the Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP) v2.33 (formerly SOLAR2000) is now available with new capabilities. the solar mu parameter, Lyman-alpha g-factor, and Lyman-alpha line center are provided in historical, real-time, and 137-day forecast time frames . The forecast JB2006 daily indices of F10, S10, M10 are provided out to 137 days o the full SC21REFW spectral format from 1.8 to 200 nm is provided.

13 Dec 2006 - Space Environment Technologies in the News Study: Global warming prolongs life of space debris - Reuters - Global warming prolongs life of space debris - Yahoo! News - Heads Up for Space Junk! - ScienceNOW Daily News.

14 Nov 2006 - Space Environment Technologies is pleased to announce both the release of SOLAR2000 Research Grade model v2.30 at the website (S2KRG QUICK-LINK). Users requested a) higher time resolution (up to 1-minute during flare periods), b) higher spectral resolution (up to 0.1 nm in the XUV-EUV), c) solar flux indices for specific applications (especially for atmospheric density and ionospheric models), d) more energy and spectral format variety, e) inclusion of other models and data sets, and f) standards as well as definitions. The release of SOLAR2000 v2.30, combined with SOLARFLARE v1.01 and the new JB2006 model for thermospheric densities (, provides enhanced capabilities in each of these areas. SOLAR2000 + SOLARFLARE can be freely downloaded at the S2KRG Quick-Link on the Space Environment Technologies' web site ( and used either with your licensed IDL software or with the free IDL Virtual Machine (

07 Apr 2005 - Space Environment Technologies and Exploration Physics International announce an agreement to host an operational solar wind model.

21 Mar 05 - Space Environment Technologies is pleased to announce both the release of SOLAR2000 Research Grade model v2.25 at the website (S2KRG QUICK-LINK) New features in S2KRG v2.25 ( website - S2KRG QUICK-LINK) are: 1) 2 new solar proxies: a) The E162 proxy (reported in units of F10.7) is released with this version which enables a user to access the 162-day smoothed E10.7 for date ranges greater than 162 days. The MET v2.0 atmospheric density model uses the daily and 162-day (running boxcar) smoothed values. b) The XE10 proxy (reported in units of F10.7) is released with this version and, for satellite operators, may provide slightly better modeling of atmospheric densities that affect satellite drag compared to F10.7 or E10.7. It is the integrated 1-40 nm energy flux whose energy is primarily absorbed by atomic oxygen above 200 km. 2) 185 new photoionization rates: Photoionization rates for 185 ions are calculated using cross sections interpolated over resonances for the ground states of atoms and all ions of the OP elements (Verner et al., 1996: H, He, Le, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ar, Ca, Fe). The cross sections are multiplied by photon flux to provide values. The photoionization rates are valid for the energy range from the ionization threshold to the first cross section jump due to inner shell photoionization. 3) The proxies in Earth-observed S2KRG v2.25 model are extended through 28-FEB-2005. This includes the updated composite Lyman-alpha released by T. Woods on December 1, 2004 containing values through November 28, 2004. 4) S2KRG v2.25 is only released for use on IDL 6.0 or higher and for the "observed" flux rather than "1-AU adjusted." An adjusted version will be released soon and, by request, an IDL 5.6 version will be released. 5) .The SOLAR2000 Professional Grade v2.25 is also available and provides forecasts of the same parameters as the Research Grade model for operational users. Please contact for more information on S2KPG v2.2.

12 Feb 05 - New predictions of solar flare qualities ( website - FLARE QUICK-LINK) have a 1-minute resolution with a 2-minute cadence and a 6-minute latency. The X-ray flare evolution prediction is fully automated, uses the GOES 0.1-0.8 nm X-ray flux data, and provides a model of an expected flare profile based on the background level and the flare rise time. The past 72-hours of X-ray flux and prediction history are displayed along with text describing the dynamically-changing space weather-related impacts affecting communication, navigation, LEO, and GEO spacecraft systems.

Sep 04 – This release of SOLAR2000 v2.24 uses the TIMED SEE v7 L3 data for the first time and obtains an overall correlation of 0.93 across wavelengths from 1-120 nm. The S2K Operational Grade model now provides forecast proxies to five solar cycles using updated values from the Schatten solar dynamo model. There is an attempt to initiate consistency between model releases for the reporting of integrated irradiance proxies such as E10.7. We have begun to use, with this release, a comparison of the E10.7 proxy (the integrated 1-105 nm flux) with the derived mass density from two satellite observations provided by Frank Marcos. Satellite 1616 (410 km) is a low latitude satellite (i=36 deg) and satellite 4221 (400 km) is a high latitude satellite (i=77 deg). Density/drag daily data for solar maximum to minimum time scales (January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1996) are used for a direct comparison to the E10.7 and F10.7 values. The advantage of using drag data comparisons is that it provides an independent consistency check between version releases. In addition, a bug fix is that the erroneous units of Qeuv in the metadata of the output section has been changed to ergs cm-3 s-1 for the total volume heating rate. The range of valid dates for the Research Grade version of the model is start date 1947-045 (14-FEB-1947 or JD 2432231.0) and end date 2004-255 (11-SEP-2004 or JD 2453260.0).01 Dec 03 – The SET core operational systems software has been extensively upgraded that is implemented at NOAA/SEC and Space Environment Technologies. It encapsulates SOLAR2000, dynamically manages the web site, and produces product files. The operational software has improved error-detection and recovery and produces new file products to better serve our customers.

22 Nov 03 – The first release of the SOLAR2000 Professional-Grade model (S2K PG v2.22) provides a real-time interface to SOLAR2000 forecasts produced hourly.03 Nov 03 – The release of SOLAR2000 v1.25 provides an update for research grade users.17 Jul 03 – The release of SOLAR2000 v1.24a provides an update for research grade users.

27 Jun 2003 – An AFRL SBIR Phase I contract was awarded to Space Environment Technologies for developing an Operational Ionospheric Forecast System.01 May 2003 – The release of SOLAR2000 v2.21 beta-test model. The model provides temporal and spectral variability extending into the FUV and UV spectral regions. This capability is added by the VUV2002 model developed by T. Woods. The SOLAR2000 variability from 1-420 nm is useful for both upper and middle atmosphere studies. The first year of TIMED/SEE data have been included in the derivation of the model and have improved the absolute accuracy. The updated SOHO/SEM data have been included as well. A new extreme ultraviolet integrated energy flux proxy for the wavelength region from 1 to 40 nm (E1_40) is provided in the model's output file. The exospheric temperature T (at 450 km) has been rescaled for consistency with the values of the Jacchia 1970 model and is provided in the output file. Also, the user is now given a choice of models and/or reference spectra to run.

03 Apr 2003 – A GSA Schedule 871 Professional Engineering Services contract awarded to Space Environment Technologies.28 Feb 2003 – Space Environment Technologies successfully completes HASDM Operational Live Test.

25 Nov 2002 – The updated SOLAR2000 v1.24 was implemented on all operational systems.

11 Sep 2002 – Release of SOLAR2000 v1.24 which fixed two bugs at the 62.493 and 62.973 nm wavelengths; the S2K_TSI.TXT file date was corrected to be the first date of a multiple day run. Prior to version 1.24, the ASTM E490 spectrum was an older version and this release uses the official version. The proxies are extended through July 31, 2002.

01 Aug 2002 – The SOLAR2000 research and operational models were upgraded to v1.23. The model provides self-consistent irradiances and proxies from Feb 1947 through May 2002. In addition, small improvements were made in the variability of the H and C continua emission and the absolute values of E10.7, for example, may change by ~1% at different times during the last 5 solar cycles compared to S2K v1.20 E10.7 values. The upgrade to the v1.23 operational-grade model available on the official NOAA/SEC web site will be completed by August 7, 2002. This improved version (see comparison to v1.20) continues to refine the E10.7 nowcast products, and has significantly improved the SET F10.7 and E10.7 1-3 day forecasts (which are available via subscriptions). These 128-day forecasts are fully automated and are issued every 3 hours. In a validation run for the first 200 days of 2001, SET F10.7 and E10.7 had lower uncertainties than the NOAA/SEC F10.7 forecasts. The release of version 1.23 of the model provides additional, new proxies that can be used by several communities including the thermospheric heating rate, Qeuv (ergs cm-2 s-1), the derived sunspot number, Rsn (unitless), the exospheric temperature at 450 km, Tinf (K), and the EUV hemispheric power, Peuv (GW). See 'Solar2000 Products ' for additional information.

22 Jul 2002 – The SOLAR2000 v1.23 was released.15 Apr 2002 – The SOLAR2000 v1.21 was released.

06 Apr 200 – Implementation of the SOLAR2000/E10.7 operational grade model v1.21 at NOAA/SEC and at for daily nowcasts. Solar cycle 23 indices (E10.7, coronal and chromospheric proxies) are also available using daily and 81-day averages.

20 Feb 2002 – SOLAR2000 RG 1.20a released. This version has significantly improved the irradiance estimates in the XUV portion of the spectrum with the incorporation of the soft X-rays from SNOE. New products were also released including the Qeuv thermospheric heating rate for aeronomical studies, the Rsn derived sunspot number for HF radio propagation ray-trace models, and the Tinf exospheric temperature at 450 km for global climate change studies.

11 Feb 2002 – The SOLAR2000 v1.20 was released.

24 Jan 2002 – 24-Jan-02 article in "NASA Probes Earth/Sun Relationship"; with a section on the Forecast products of SpaceWx.

22 Jan 2002 – Jan'02 article in Front Range Tech Biz: "The perils and promise of partnering with the feds for R&D" discusses the CRADA SET/SpaceWx has with NOAA.

06 Nov 2001 – SOLAR2000 RG v1.17 released. This version has been improved from SOLAR2000 RG v1.16, providing more accurate flux estimates at some wavelengths through September 30, 2001. Additionally, the nowcast test products are now available from the anonymous ftp site, and forecast products are now available on a subscription basis.

17 Oct 2001 – A Software Transfer Agreement is signed between Northrop Grumman/Logicon and W. Kent Tobiska/Space Environment Technologies for the transfer from the former to the latter the entirety of all rights, anywhere in the world, to SOLAR2000, SpaceWx service mark, domain names, contractual and physical assets.

18 Sep 2001 – SOLAR2000 RG v1.16 released. This version has been improved from SOLAR2000 RG v1.15, providing more accurate flux estimates at some wavelengths through August 31, 2001. Additionally, the nowcast test products are now available from the anonymous ftp site, and forecast products are now available on a subscription basis.

09 Aug 2001 – Space Environment Technologies officially begins as a sole proprietorship, registered in the State of California.

21 Apr 2001 –SOLAR2000 RG v1.15a released. This version is identical to SOLAR2000 RG v1.15, except the model now extends to 21 Apr 2001.

02 Apr 2001– Daily nowcast solar irradiances and E10.7 are operationally available as a test product at the NOAA/SEC ftp site: (

28 Jan 2001 – SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.15 IDL GUI application is released.10 Dec 2000– SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.10 IDL GUI application is released.

25 Sep 2000 – SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.05a IDL GUI is released.01 Sep 2000 – site officially goes on line.

18 Aug 2000 – Web site migration from Earthlink ( to Mindspring server in preparation for web site opening.

26 Jun 2000 – SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.05 is released as an IDL GUI.22 Jun 2000 – New SpaceWx prototype site is presented.

02 May 2000 – Federal Data Corporation's new Space Weather (SpaceWx) division and the NOAA Space Environment Center sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop an operational solar irradiance product based on SOLAR2000 and including the new E10.7 daily EUV index.

22 Feb 2000 – SOLAR2000 Research Grade v1.03 prototype is developed.

16 Nov 1999 – Both the IDL and FORTRAN versions of EUV97 (including data files) were corrected and updated (see notes in IDL version).

07 Oct 2000 – SOLAR2000 Research Grade v0.10 prototype is developed.CRADA Press Release, 5 Oct 2000 Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) signed - May 2, 2000 Bethesda, MD - 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. This agreement will enable 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 will use 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 will be compliant with the emerging International Standards Organization (ISO) solar irradiance standard. NOAA's role will be to provide consistent and timely data to FDC for use in the SOLAR2000 data and distribute the daily SOLAR2000 spectrum as part of the suite of NOAA space weather products. In the near-term, the primary NOAA data set will be the Mg II core-to-wing ratio which is an index of solar chromospheric activity. Later in the program, NOAA will provide broad-band EUV measurements from a new instrument on the GOES spacecraft. These data will be used in the SOLAR2000 model to create solar spectra. 'NOAA will provide the 'nowcast' and FDC will offer a web-based forecast,' said Dr. W. Kent Tobiska, director of FDC's space weather programs and Principal Investigator (PI) for the CRADA. He added that once a day NOAA will display on its web site at what the Sun's spectrum looks like for that day. These spectra will be available to everyone for use in upper atmospheric and ionospheric models. According to Dr. Rodney Viereck of NOAA and Principal Investigator (PI) for the CRADA, 'the lack of good solar EUV data has been one of the primary obstacles to creating more accurate models of the upper atmosphere.' Tobiska indicated that nowcasting will be available in mid-2001 and forecasting will be available at the end of 2001. According to Tobiska, while there are 'varying levels of accuracy in the irradiances for different forecast time scales,' prediction of solar activity will help us prepare for blasts of radiation that can affect satellite orbits, disrupt radio telecommunications, and interfere with GPS navigation systems. Longer term predictions can also specify the levels of radiation hazards to aircraft and spacecraft flight crews throughout different periods of the solar cycle. 'We have entered an era where our global economy is increasingly dependent on technologies and industries affected by changes in 'space weather'. Our vision is to be the world leader in space weather information and forecast technologies, and thus reduce some of the risk to these industries.', Tobiska concluded. 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 (PI), Tim Fuller-Rowell, and Joe Kunches and FDC representatives Kent Tobiska (PI) and Dave Bouwer. SpaceWx is headquartered in Los Angeles CA. For more information about the company, including the engineering and scientific services they provide, contact Dr. Kent Tobiska.