Solar Wind Prediction Using Deep Learning

Vishal Upendran, Mark C.M. Cheung, Shravan Hanasoge, Ganapathy Krishnamurthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Emanating from the base of the Sun's corona, the solar wind fills the interplanetary medium with a magnetized stream of charged particles whose interaction with the Earth's magnetosphere has space weather consequences such as geomagnetic storms. Accurately predicting the solar wind through measurements of the spatiotemporally evolving conditions in the solar atmosphere is important but remains an unsolved problem in heliophysics and space weather research. In this work, we use deep learning for prediction of solar wind (SW) properties. We use extreme ultraviolet images of the solar corona from space-based observations to predict the SW speed from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) OMNIWEB data set, measured at Lagragian Point 1. We evaluate our model against autoregressive and naive models and find that our model outperforms the benchmark models, obtaining a best fit correlation of 0.55 ± 0.03 with the observed data. Upon visualization and investigation of how the model uses data to make predictions, we find higher activation at the coronal holes for fast wind prediction (≈3 to 4 days prior to prediction), and at the active regions for slow wind prediction. These trends bear an uncanny similarity to the influence of regions potentially being the sources of fast and slow wind, as reported in literature. This suggests that our model was able to learn some of the salient associations between coronal and solar wind structure without built-in physics knowledge. Such an approach may help us discover hitherto unknown relationships in heliophysics data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020SW002478
JournalSpace Weather
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • AIA
  • CNN
  • deep learning
  • Grad-CAM
  • LSTM
  • solar wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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