NOAA has plans to launch the DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) satellite no earlier than February 8, 2015. This satellite will be responsible for collecting space weather data and relaying this information to Earth. The launch is set to be performed by the U.S. Air Force and SpaceX.
DSCOVR will prove vital in monitoring the solar wind that helps to predict geomagnetic storms. The satellite will be positioned between the Earth and the Sun and will rest about 1,000,000 miles from the Earth’s orbit. This position will allow the satellite to serve as an early warning system for incoming solar particles as the satellite will experience solar activity up to an hour before the activity reaches Earth.
DSCOVR is very important to the scientific community as this detection system is a huge advance in space weather forecasting. Geomagnetic storms have the ability to disrupt communication technology so any lead time in predicting these events is valuable.