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Effort towards the First European Comprehensive SOLar Irradiance Data Exploitation (SOLID): EU FP7 programme


Held By: Prof. Rami Qahwaji (in conjunction with other EU Partners)

Total Value: £194,793 (for University of Bradford)

Start date: 07/11/2012

End date: 30/11/2015


Variations of solar irradiance are the most important natural factor in the terrestrial climate and as such, the time dependent spectral solar irradiance is a crucial input to any climate modelling. There have been previous efforts to compile solar irradiance but it is still uncertain by how much the spectral and total solar irradiance changed on yearly, decadal and longer time scales. Observations of irradiance data exist in numerous disperse data sets. A major objective of the SOLID effort is to analyse and merge the complete set of European irradiance data, complemented by archive data that include data from non-European missions. The SOLID-consortium unifies representatives from all European solar space experiments and European teams specialized in multi-wavelength solar image processing. It also includes the European groups involved in irradiance modelling and reconstruction. They will work with two different state of the art approaches to produce reconstructed spectral and total solar irradiance data as a function of time. These results are used to bridge gaps in time and wavelength coverage of the observational data. This will allow the SOLID team to reduce the uncertainties in the irradiance time series - an important requirement by the climate community - and to provide uniform data sets of modelled and observed solar irradiance data from the beginning of the space era to the present including proper error and uncertainty estimates. Climate research needs these data sets and therefore, the primary benefit is for the climate community, but the stellar community, planetary, lunar, and ionospheric researchers are also interested in having at their disposition incident radiation of the Sun. The proposing team realizes a wide international synergy in solar physics from 7 European countries, and collaborators from the US, complemented by representatives from the climate community, who will accompany their research work with wide dissemination activity.

Partners:The Co-ordinator is PMOD at the World Radiation Centre (WRC). Other partners include Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Royal Observatory of Belgium, Universität Bremen (Germany), Imperial College London (UK), Max-Planck Institut (Germany), Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (Italy), University of Cambridge (UK) and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Bradford's Role: Prof Qahwaji is leading “WP3: Multi-wavelength solar image processing for novel SSI proxies”. For this WP, state-of-the-art technologies in solar imaging developed by partners will be upgraded to process the space and ground based images to enable the creation of new SSI proxies. The modifications will ensure that these systems can efficiently extract and calculate filling factors for solar features of interest such as plages, networks, faculae, quiet sun, active regions, coronal holes, and so on. Novel algorithms will also be developed to derive solar quantities from synoptic observations to improve the current understanding of mechanisms driving solar irradiance variations over extended time periods covering several solar cycles

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