ESA Intended Invitation To Tender

18.118.16


Title: 3D IONOSPHERIC MODELLING - GT18-009EP
Program ref.: GSTP Element 1 Dev
Tender Type: C
Quarter: 183
Tender Status: INTENDED
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Budget Ref.: E/0904-611 - GSTP Element 1 Dev
Proc. Prop.: DAC
Special Prov.: GB
Establishment: ESOC
Directorate: Directorate of Operations
Department: Space Safety Programme Office
Responsible: Densing, Rolf
Products: Ground Segment / Mission Operations / Other
Techology Domains: Space System Software / Ground Segment Software
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A - Not apply
Publication Date: 21-AUG-18

Characterising the ionosphere is crucial for radio link users. Most models currently in use for ionospheric weather nowcasting and forecasting applications approximate the ionosphere using a single thin-shell approach with a fixed height of e.g. 350 km, which is an approximation suppressing the vertical structure of the ionosphere. 3D modelling has the potential to provide resolution of more complex structures and their evolution in electron density, particularly during disturbed conditions and hence improve overall accuracy. The software prototype shall be developed to demonstrate how the inclusion of a 3D model at the core of space weather service provision can improve the space weather services for satellite navigation and telecommunication users and complement existing 2D products such as TEC mapping. A set of priority requirements will be defined for further development of the underpinning modelling. The development shall take existing proven modelling concepts, particularly the results of the TRP activity "3-D Ionospheric Total Electron Content Modelling", which describe properties of the ionosphere to build a model implementation including all established required functionality. The development shall target a model that can be operated in near real-time and utilise measurements from ground based observations systems and also GNSS radio occultation measurements. These observations are measured routinely and the measurement data is already part of the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Space Weather Segment (SWE) system. The model operation shall be verified with a reproducible set of test data in order to ensure correct operation within a pre-defined parameter space of input variables. The model results shall be validated against pre-defined observables in test data and in test campaigns with other models with similar capability. The model developed in this activity shall be implemented on the SSA system and a final verification shall be performed to confirm that the implemented model behaves as expected.