ECE 419: Senior Design Andrew Downs Rachel Baca December 7, 2011

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ECE 419: Senior Design

Andrew Downs

Rachel Baca

December 7, 2011

Misty Crown: Mentor/Sponsor

Technical Advisor

Andrew Downs: Student

Rachel Baca: Student

AFRL BEL: Air Force Research Laboratory

Environment Laboratory

Studies space weather and other space phenomena

Space weather can cause damage to power grids
and electrical equipment on earth

Can cause damage to near earth satellites such as
ground to space communication links

Currently, there is no way of accessing the needed space
weather information that is spread across various websites
simultaneously from within one program

Difficulty graphing and plotting information as well as being
able to display in human
readable format

Funding is not extensive which means current AFRL hardware
needs to be taken advantage resulting in software that needs
to be open source

Create software for AFRL that is eventually going to be used
to train space weather forecasters

Implement a way to pull space weather information from the
various websites simultaneously through a simple user

Based upon user specified constraints, the program needs to
be able to graph the needed information from a source

Allows experience in creating our own software

Gain knowledge into the software design process

Gain factual knowledge on what exactly entails “space
weather” and how it can potentially affect us

Learn a completely new scripting language in Python

Further our knowledge of plotting and graphing of
information through a different outlet

which in this case is
space weather

NOAA National Geophysical Data Center

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Project Goal:

Need to retrieve Sun, solar activity and upper
atmosphere data

STEREO: Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory

Provides two space
based observatory viewpoints
of Earth in order to see the structure and
evolution of solar storms

Project Goal:

Provide visual representations of this data
within the program

SDO: Solar Dynamics Observatory

Is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s
Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program
designed to understand the causes of solar
variability and its impact on Earth.

Project Goal:

Provide visual representations of this data
within the program

Software will be run on Linux
based systems

Code will be Python

Code will be open source

User’s manual

sourced, Linux and Python
based space
weather interpretation software

Neither of us have worked with the Python
scripting language

Some of the files that we will be dealing with are
often large in size and contain large amounts of
numerical data that need to be interpreted

The software needs to be open source and also run
under a Linux machine which is not as easily
available to us as students

Continue training of knowledge around Python
programming and the interpretation of FITS and
HDF files through Python

Continue implementation of visuals from NASA’s
source websites

Continue work on graphical user interface that
allows for ease

Implement constraint
based graphing into

After a prototype is made, extensive testing of
available files needs to be done in order to check
for correct functionality

Finish implementing interpretation of FITS
and HDF file into software by end of

Create a working prototype by end of January

Testing of software and confirmation of
requirements in subsequent months