Telespazio and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland team won the Leonardo 2018 Innovation Award in the Radical Innovation category. The proposal “Ionosphere Prediction Service for GNSS Users” was presented by Filippo Rodriguez (team leader), Roberto Ronchini, Stefano Di Rollo, Gian Paolo Plaia, Luca Preziosi, Vanessa Sicurello, Osman Kalden and Douwe Lambers. UTOV Solar Physics Team contribution to the IPS project is represented by: observations and algorithms for flare forecasting, algorithms for the detection of CME onset and time of arrival at 1AU, and measurements of SEPs.
The innovation is a platform which can predict when solar explosions interacting with the ionosphere will interfere with terrestrial systems. The activity of the sun produces significant effects on the ionosphere, which is the highest ionized layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. This can influence the behavior of satellite navigation systems, drastically reducing their accuracy or interrupting their proper functioning. Today, predicting weather conditions in space is of special interest: systems are therefore needed to help anticipate and measure the effect of solar activity on applications and services that use satellite navigation systems. The beneficiaries of these forecasts would include the operators of vehicles, aircraft and vessels which use receivers based on GPS, Galileo and other systems to navigate. The service is based on advanced proprietary algorithms that draw on data provided by various open source sensors and historical data. The output is forecasts which are useful in mitigating the effects of magnetic interference.
The Leonardo Innovation Award Ceremony was held at the Città della Scienza (Science City) Museum in Naples. The event was attended by Italy’s Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti, as well as senior representatives from industry, Italian institutions and the world of science.