Space Weather Services Review – Outcome
The suggested withdrawal or reduction to a user-pays commercial operation of the Ionospheric Prediction Service (IPS) has been found to be ill-advised, and it will stay as a core function of the Bureau of Meteorology. This is the result of a review lead by Professor Paul Cannon, University of Birmingham, UK, into the need and uses of the domestic IPS services.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
The WIA submitted that IPS information services, including sunspot, geomagnetic and maximum usable frequency data, and other information, is used by radio amateurs to best plan their communications activities. The WIA said that many are dependent on the IPS services and would be adversely affected if the free service was withdrawn.
The Bureau of Meteorology in a public statement said the review has demonstrated that Australia needs a space weather services capability to support government, industry and the military. These alone posed a sovereign risk if the IPS was closed. Additionally it supported the electricity industry during major and extreme storms, was an aid to the new GPS-type satellite navigation systems, and had many other users.
The IPS will stay as a core function of the Bureau, with the aims of considerably strengthen its efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. This will include improved awareness and preparedness in relation to the hazard potential and risks posed by space weather events.
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