Our research program currently covers these topics:
Magnetic structure of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
We are developing 3DCORE, a hyperfast semi-empirical model for flux ropes
in coronal mass ejections that can be used for both fitting and forward modeling of multipoint
in situ signatures of CME flux ropes. We also work on synthetic model images for comparison
to data returned by coronagraphs and heliospheric imagers.
Wind, DSCOVR, STEREO, BepiColombo, Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, Venus Express, MESSENGER, MAVEN. Future: PUNCH, SWFO-L1, Lagrange, interplanetary CubeSats.
We advance innovative methods to use imaging of the solar wind to better predict the arrival time and speed of CMEs at Earth and other planets.
Our ELEvoHI model is the state of the art method in fitting time-elongation tracks of CMEs to model their interplanetary evolution.
STEREO (SECCHI). Soon: Solar Orbiter (SolOHI), Parker Solar Probe (WISPR). Future: PUNCH, Lagrange.
Solar wind modeling
Another hyperfast modeling approach, the Wang-Sheeley-Arge (WSA) / Tunable Heliospheric Upwind eXtrapolation (THUX) model is developed
in order to provide ambient solar wind solutions. We employ WSA/THUX for modeling corotating interaction regions (CIRs) and as the ambient wind feeding into our CME evolution models.
With WSA/THUX we investigate open physics questions, for example how coronal holes are connected to CIR properties, or the propagation of uncertainties in the solar initial conditions to 1 AU.
Wind, DSCOVR, STEREO, Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter. Future: SWFO-L1, Lagrange, interplanetary CubeSats.
Real time solar wind prediction
A major unsolved problem in space weather forecasting concerns the prediction of the southward pointing magnetic fields in
CMEs and CIRs that lead to geomagnetic storms, known as the Bz problem. We conduct research into how solar wind data provided by spacecraft at the Sun-Earth L1 point
can be used for permanently updating the
solar wind models to provide a feasible solution to the Bz problem. We additionally
provide forecasts of Dst, GIC, Newell coupling and aurora based on those solar wind predictions, to understand how the errors
in the solar wind forecasts propagate into geospace.
We also use advanced verification methods and machine learning to optimize the physical modeling.
DSCOVR, Wind, STEREO. Future: SWFO-L1, SMILE, Lagrange, interplanetary CubeSats.
Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs)
In collaboration with the Austrian meteorological institute ZAMG and the Technical University
Graz we work on the prediction of GICs in the Austrian power grid. GICs have long been known to affect power grids,
transformers and any earthed conductive networks spanning large distances. We use machine learning approaches to map L1 solar wind nowcasts and forecasts to GICs.
DSCOVR, Wind, STEREO. Future: Lagrange.
Exoplanetary space weather
The Solar System is the only stellar and planetary environment in which we can study how stellar eruptions influence various types of planetary atmospheres in great detail.
These results can be used as proxies for other stars and their exoplanets. We have provided general parameters of solar eruptions for atmospheric loss
modeling of Hot Jupiters, and are planning to extend this effort to model stellar winds and eruptions and couple these outputs to simulations of terrestrial exoplanetary atmospheres.
Please see the publications page
for all team publications since 2018.
We are collaborating with many international teams, among them the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), the University of New Hampshire,
the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of California in Berkeley, Predictive Science San Diego, and the University of Reading (UK).
Our research is frequently covered by nationwide media:
[Wie man die Intensität des Sonnenwindes misst]
[Weltraumwetter gibt Rätsel auf]
[Die Geheimnisse der Sonne]
[Forscher rechnen mit mehr Sonnenstürmen]
[Wie sich ein katastrophaler Asteroideneinschlag abwenden ließe]
[Planetenkiller: warum Asteroiden hauptsächlich im Film einschlagen]
[Prognose: Bis zu fünf Sonnenstürme könnten pro Monat die Erde treffen]
[Wie man in den nächsten Jahren auf außerirdisches Leben stoßen könnte]
[Wenn die Sonne den Strom abdreht]