Heliospheric Physics Research Group (HPRG), University of Graz

ESA Expert Service Group for Heliospheric and Ionospheric Weather


Research: Large scale structures in interplanetary space - from Sun to Heliosphere

The dynamic interplay between coronal mass ejections (CMEs), background solar wind structures and the evolution of their sources on the Sun changes the heliosphere on various temporal and spatial scales. This has effects on the propagation behavior of individual events. Modelling efforts showed that reliable Space Weather forecasts are difficult to make, due to large uncertainties in the available observational input data as well as complex interaction processes. Moreover, that complexity increases with enhanced solar activity, hence models perform rather badly during solar maxima phases. We are working in international groups as well as national projects on better understanding the physical interaction processes and evolution of CMEs and background solar wind for improving models and forecasts. The research and development of services on the basis of research results is supported by funding agencies on national and international level (FWF, FFG, ESA, ISSI). 


  • FFG SWEETS (Thermosphere neutral density and satellite orbit decays in response to CMEs and SIRs/HSSs) - joint with TU Graz
  • FWF (Magnetospheric Jets and relation to CMEs/SIRs/HSSs over the solar cycle) - joint with IWF Graz
  • FFG SWAP (Building a national network for Space Weather alerts) - joint with Geosphere Austria
  • iSWAT COSPAR moderator (H1+2 Clusters) for the international Space Weather Roadmap
  • ISSI teams (Solar magnetic open flux, 3D CME reconstruction)



Services: Provision of daily/hourly updated information on solar wind structures, CME forecasting and radio bursts

To better understand the physics behind Space Weather phenomena and to prepare for improved Space Weather forecasting for the upcoming new solar cycle 25, the "Heliospheric Physics Research Group" is permanently working in international programs. In that, we are providing services for the Space Weather community to help peers and end-users in understanding the processes and impacts of solar activity on Earth and its modern technology:

  • ESA-Space Safety Programme (Heliospheric Expert Team - ESWF, ESWF24, STEREO+CH, DBEM and Ionospheric Expert Team - SODA)
  • e-CALLISTO (AUSTRIA-UNIGRAZ radio telescope - nowcast of radio type III bursts)
  • MiniMax (SCOSTEP/PRESTO - forecast of solar wind high speed streams and filament eruptions)