More than 350 scientists, engineers and satelliteoperators gather in Antwerp during the tenth edition of the European Space Weather Week (ESWW, November 18-22). During this international congress, causes of solar storms, the strategic organization of the networks of measuring devices, as well as the necessity of the continuous space weather monitoring were discussed. For the first time A.Chilingarian and K.Kudela organize new plenary session – “|Use of ground-based cosmic ray detectors for space weather monitoring and forecasting” (see details in speakers present currently operated networks:

  • the network of neutron monitors providing data to Neutron monitor data base (NMDB, (
  • the Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) developed and coordinated by Shinshu University
  • the mid-latitude Space Environmental Viewing and Analysis Network (SEVAN) of hybrid particle detectors developed by the Cosmic ray division of the Yerevan Physics institute

The session provides possibility for the discussion of fundamental problems of particle propagation in the interplanetary space, their interaction with the atmosphere;it fosters better understanding of the capabilities of cosmic rays detectors for space weather monitoring and forecasting purposes.

However, the scientific discipline of Space weather is facing unexpected challenges.The observed number of the sunspots (a measure of solar activity) of Solar activity Cycle 24 is only ~65 that makes current cycle the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.

Applied research, like Space Weather, can be useful only if it is tightly connected with fundamental research, having objective to advance basic knowledge on the Sun and its influence on the solar system. Making emphasis only on the alerts based on GLEs is counterproductive not only because last 7 years we had only one small GLE, making no harm, but also because concentrating on technical problems we do not progress in understanding the underlying physical mechanisms. Large Solar data centers, like Solar influences data analysis center (SIDC,Belgium)have research as primary goal, that, of course, do not harm their excellent operational space weather services ( Therefore, I recommend to the members of NMDB collaboration to spend much more efforts on basic research proceeding from the Neutron monitor data. Solar physics, High-energy cosmic ray physics, high-energy phenomena in atmosphere (see for instance Chilingarian et al., 2012 and Tsuchiya et al., 2012)arethe topics where data from neutron monitors can bring new exciting knowledge.


A.Chilingarian, N. Bostanjyan, and L. Vanyan, Neutron bursts associated with thunderstorms, Physical review D 85, 085017, (2012).

  1. Tsuchiya, , , et al., Observation of thundercloud-related gamma rays and neutrons in Tibet, Phys. Rev. D 85, 092006, (2012).