Developing an Empirical Model for Predicting Solar Energetic Particle Events

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Richard A Quinn, AER, Inc., Lexington, MA, United States, Lisa M Winter, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc. Superior, Superior, CO, United States, Kathryn Ledbetter, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, United States and Sierra F Ashley, University of Denver, Denver, CO, United States
Solar energetic particle (SEP) events are powerful enhancements in the particle flux received at Earth. These events, often related to coronal mass ejections, can be disruptive to ionospheric communications, destructive to satellites, and pose a health risk to astronauts. To develop a useful forecast for the onset time and peak flux of SEP events, we are examining the radio burst, proton, and electron properties associated with the SEPs of the current solar cycle. Using the Wind/WAVES radio observations from 2010–2013, we analyzed the 123 decametric-hectometric type II solar radio burst properties, the associated type III burst properties, and their correlation with SEP properties determined from analysis of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) observations. Through a principal component and logistic regression analyses, we find that the radio properties alone can be used to predict the occurrence of an SEP event with a false alarm rate of 17%, a probability of detection of 65%, and with 88% of the classifications correct. We also explore the use of the > 2 MeV electron flux to forecast proton peak flux and event onset time, with preliminary results suggesting a correlation between the peak electron and proton flux.