Space Weather Nederland (SWENED)

Space weather is a natural hazard associated with an extensive field of research which includes the physics of the Sun, heliosphere, magnetosphere, ionosphere, atmosphere and solid Earth and the interactions between all of these domains and with technological infrastructure. Nowadays, there is growing awareness of the risks associated with extreme space weather events. Extreme events, such as the Carrington Event in 1859, have the potential to disrupt vital infrastructures as well as military operations. The research concerning the interaction between space weather and vital infrastructures, such as power supplies or satellite services, is rapidly growing. SWENED is a platform in which Dutch organizations active in the field of space weather are united.

ESA cartoon
Image: ©ESA / Credit: ESA, A. Baker, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/)

Based on a Letter to Parliament and commissioned by the Ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) and Economic Affairs & Climate (EZK), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is responsible for providing alerts and warnings of space weather effects for vital sectors as well as establishing a governmental position of knowledge on the matter. The latter cannot be achieved or sustained without collaboration and interaction with the national and international space weather communities. Hence, in 2018 the network organization SWENED (Space WEather NEDerland) was started. The purpose of SWENED is to exchange information and opportunities, stimulate collaboration on research proposals and calls, organize scientific meetings and workshops and offer advice to governmental policy-makers and organizations like the NWO. Participating parties generally have affinity to the field of space weather, either through participation in the space weather research effort and/or by employing technologies containing vulnerabilities to space weather effects. Participating in SWENED is non-exclusive and without legal obligations. SWENED intends to meet twice a year.

ESA Space weather effects
Image: ©ESA / Credit: ESA Science Office, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/)