About Our Group

Our work was originally supported by two EPSRC grants. The first 3-years EPSRC grant is (GR/T17588/01) and is entitled "Image Processing and Machine Learning Techniques for Short-Term Prediction of Solar Activity", value 125K GBP, which started in January 2005. The second 3-years EPSRC grant is (EP/F022948/1), which is entitled "Image Processing, Machine Learning and Geometric Modelling for the 3D Representation of Solar Features" (296K GBP), and has started in Feb 2008.

It aims to create a computer application environment for predicting the solar activities (i.e., flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs)) that could have severe effects on life on Earth. Solar activity can cause severe problems for the space industry; earth based electromagnetic communications and power systems, radio transmission and so on.

An image processing and machine learning environment will be developed to provide short-term prediction for the occurrence of these events, based on the data that is available in the public domain for other solar features (i.e., filaments, sunspots, active regions).

We have recently developed a system called "Automated Solar Activity Prediction" (ASAP). This system uses MDI Continuum and Intensitygram images to predict solar flares. We integrated ASAP with some other tools (Figure below shows overall system) to provide near-real time sunspots classification and flares prediction on this website. The system provides flares prediction every 4 or 5 hours depending on the availability of SOHO/MDI images.

Our shell tool UPDATEWEB runs SPIDER, ASAP, and FLAREMONITOR tools every 10 minutes and updates the website continously. SPIDER is a tool for crawling webpages and downloading it's contents. It is modified to check SOHO website and download the latest MDI images. FLAREMONITOR is a graphical presentation tool which uses outputs from the ASAP program to create images inorder to update this website. The current sunspot classifications and flaring predictions are available at FLARE MONITOR link.