Special notice: Space Weather is now the focus of a new executive order issued on 13 October 2016, as U.S. President Obama takes aim at preparing the nation's infrastructure for "extreme space weather events." Space weather, which covers the Sun-Earth connection and includes the conditions with which radio amateur shortwave communications occur, is a hot area of research and development, and funding. Space weather has the potential to not only affect radio communications but also to affect and disrupt health and safety across the world.

Issuing an executive order is one way to ensure funding, but it also serves as a reminder that we amateurs are positioned in several ways to participate in the national readiness in the space weather arena. We are emergency communicators, many of whom are passionate about being prepared to offer their communities with selfless radio communications service. Additionally, by being well-educated on space weather science and applications of space weather and radio propagation knowledge, we are positioned to aid in emergency communication when all else fails.

Note: The proceeds from a purchase of this course goes to keeping this website, as well as up and running. There are monthly fees, yearly fees, and software licensing to cover, as well as the purchase of hardware from time to time. These operating and maintenance funds are mostly covered by Tomas, NW7US, out of his personal funds. Any donations and sales helps out.

Solar Terrestrial Dispatch (STD) is a world-leader in space weather forecasting services, as was demonstrated in late October and early November 2003 (Oler, C., "Prediction Performance of Space Weather Forecast Centers during the Extreme Space Weather Events of October and November 2003," published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal "Space Weather" by the American Geophysical Union in 2004). A copy of this paper is available here.

Read more details about all the features of this special course, below.


Get the Space Weather Course, today!


STD expertise is used to provide high-quality space weather forecast services to many electrical power companies across North America, guidance to spacecraft operators and consultation to many others.

STD has developed a special space weather course designed to teach individuals without any background how to predict space weather (see below). The STD Space Weather Course was the recipient of the Study-Web Academic Excellence award.

Global Ionospheric Map - Critical Frequencies - foF2 (Created with PropLab PRO)

Critical foF2 map (2014 June 08 at 1000 UTC)

The course is available on-line as a small group of downloadable Adobe Acrobat Reader documents comprising over 630 pages of printed material (for sample pages, click here). You can therefore choose to study the material on your computer or print it out for study. (Note: the certificate of completion is no longer offered)

Read more details about all the features of this special course, below.


Purchasing the Course

+ New Year 2017 Sale: The course alone (no software), delivered over the Internet.

- Now: $64.95 - normally $250 USD
- Pay Online by clicking the PayPal button:

Note: This is only the course - no software. You are paying for the knowledge and content.


A list of the topics covered in this home-study course include:
  • The Sun
    • Basics of the Sun
    • Sunspots
      • Types of Sunspots
      • Sunspot Magnetic Fields
    • Solar Radiation and Radio Emissions
    • Solar Cycles
    • Techniques for Modelling Solar Cycles
    • Sources of Information and Imagery
  • Interplanetary Space
    • The Solar Wind
    • Magnetic Fields
    • Heliospheric Current Sheet
    • Solar Sector Structures
  • The Earth
    • Magnetosphere
      • The quiet magnetosphere
      • The disturbed magnetosphere
      • Understanding Magnetic Indices
      • Magnetic Storms
        • Sudden Storm Commencements (SSCs)
        • Gradual Storm Commencements
      • Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs)
        • Effects on Electrical Hydro Systems
        • Effects on Other Long Conductors
    • Ionosphere
      • Formation of Ionospheric Layers
      • Factors Affecting Ionospheric Layers
  • Solar Disturbances
    • Transient Solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
      • Types and Structures of Coronal Mass Ejections
      • Understanding the Importance of CME Structures
      • Inferring CME Structures from Available Solar Data
      • Coronal Mass Ejection Detection Methods
      • Using IMPACT (software) to Aid in CME Disturbance Predictions
      • Solar Cycle Dependencies
    • Solar Flares
      • Basic Nature of Flares
      • Types of Flares
      • Flare Rating Systems
      • Significance of Proton Flares
      • Ground Level Events (GLEs)
      • Fast Transit Events
      • Interpreting Magnetograms
      • Determining Magnetic Shear and Flare Susceptability
      • Solar Flare (and Proton Flare) Prediction Techniques
      • Solar Flare Related Coronal Mass Ejection Prediction Techniques
      • Sources of Solar Flare Information
    • Solar Coronal Holes
      • Coronal Hole Basics
      • Recurrence
      • Solar Cycle Correlations
      • Associations with Near-Relativistic Electrons
      • Coronal Hole Related Disturbance Prediction Techniques
    • Filament Eruptions
      • Filaments and Prominences
      • Eruptive and Non-Eruptive Activity
      • Filament-Associated Coronal Mass Ejections
      • Filament-Related Disturbance Prediction Techniques
  • Auroral Activity
    • Basic Theory of the Northern/Southern Lights
    • Behavioral Characteristics of the Auroral Ovals
    • Sensitivity to Solar Disturbances
    • Affects on Satellite Health and Radio Communications
    • Mathematical Models of the Auroral Zones
    • Auroral Activity Prediction Techniques
    • Information Sources
  • Conditions Affecting Satellite Health
    • Atmospheric Drag
    • Surface Charging Anomalies
    • Deep Dialectric Charging Anomalies
    • Interplanetary Shocks
    • Magnetopause Crossings
  • Postulated Sun/Earth Climate Connections
    • Possible Long-Term Climatic Trends
      • Rainfall
      • Temperatures
      • Atmospheric Pressure
      • Storm Tracks
      • Ozone Correlations
    • Possible Short-Term Meteorological Trends
      • Pressure and Winds
      • Lightning
      • Storm Systems
      • Ozone Responses
  • Radio Propagation
    • Basic Theory (Non-Technical)
      • Characteristics and Components of Radio Signals
      • Understanding Plasmas
      • Importance of Electron Collisions
      • Appleton/Hartree Contributions
      • Signal Polarization and Coupling
      • Ionospheric Absorption
        • Deviative Absorption
        • Non-Deviative Absorption
      • Fading
      • Multipathing
      • Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances
      • Solar Related Disturbances
      • Structure of the Ionosphere
        • Ionospheric Layers
        • Importance of Sporadic-E
        • Effects of Spread-F
        • Solar-Cycle Dependencies
        • Models of the Ionosphere
          • Simple Mathematical Models
          • Numerical Maps
          • CCIR
          • URSI
          • The International Reference Ionosphere (IRI)
          • Others
        • Probing the Ionosphere
        • Probing Techniques
        • Probing Instruments
        • Sources of Ionosonde Information
    • Basic Ray-Tracing Concepts
      • Ordinary vs Extraordinary Signals
      • Becoming Familiar with Ray-Tracing Software
    • Ray-Tracing in Three-Dimensions
      • Ray-Tracing Software Considerations
      • Preparing for 3D Ray-Tracings
      • Performing 3D Ray-Tracings
      • Studying 3D Ray-Tracing Results
    • Vertical Radio Signal Propagation
      • Signal Reflection Behavior
      • Critical Frequencies
      • Ray-Tracing Vertically-Incident Signals
    • Oblique Radio Signal Propagation
      • Signal Refraction/Reflection Characteristics
      • Effects of Geomagnetic Activity
      • Effects of Solar Activity
      • Ray-Tracing Obliquely Incident Radio Signals
      • Determination of Maximum Usable Frequencies
        • Simple Empirical Methods
        • Ray-Tracing Techniques
      • Effects of Sporadic-E
      • Non-Great-Circle (NGC) Propagation
        • Responsible Conditions
        • Compensation Methods
        • Ray-Tracing Techniques to Analyze NGC Propagation
      • Chordal-Hop and Inter-Layer Ducting Propagation
        • Advantages and Disadvantages
        • Analysis using Ray-Tracing Techniques
      • Searching for and Exploiting Exotic Propagation Paths
        • Properties of Exotic Paths
        • Searching for Exotic Paths using 3D Ray-Tracing Techniques
        • Determining the Most Reliable Exotic Radio Paths
    • Ionospheric Disturbances
      • Solar Related Disturbances
        • Solar Flares and Related Coronal Mass Ejections
        • Coronal Holes and High Speed Solar Wind Streams
        • Filament Related Coronal Mass Ejections
        • Impact of Flare Related Radio Noise Bursts
      • Short Wave Fadeouts
      • Sudden Phase Anomalies
      • Sudden Frequency Deviations
      • Devastating Effects of Polar Cap Absorption
      • Disturbances and their Effects on Satellite Communications
  • Radio Propagation Prediction Methods
    • Short-Term Forecasting Techniques
    • Medium-Term Forecasting Techniques
    • Long-Term Forecasting Techniques
    • Sources of Forecasting Information
  • Applied Forecasting Techniques
    • Climatology
    • Pattern Recognition
    • Compiling Necessary Information
    • Exploiting Databases
    • Computer Related Aids
    • Studying Real-Life Examples
    • Developing Experience and "Intuition"
  • Field Experience
    • The STD SW Course presents you with some specific historic real-life scenarios. Using the information and techniques studied in this course, you are asked to develop your own space-weather and radio-propagation predictions. The actual real-life impacts are then studied and compared with your forecasts.
    • The Course presents you with several hypothetical (possible future) examples and ask you to develop your own forecasts.

  • Course Completed
The course is available on-line for immediate purchase by following the instructions below.

Note: The certificate mentioned in the course is no longer offered.

Purchasing the Course

Please choose the following course packages.
  • Purchase: The course alone (no software), delivered over the Internet.

    • Now: $64.95 - normally $250 USD
    • Pay Online by clicking the PayPal button:
      Note: This is only the course - no software. You are paying for the knowledge and content.


Details about PropLab Pro v3

Ray-traced propagation analysis movie from PropLab Pro version 3.0