Date of Award

3-24-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics

Department

Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Robert D. Loper, PhD.

Abstract

Verification of an automated sunspot detection and classification algorithm is conducted utilizing two years of solar imagery from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite. Automated McIntosh classifications are compared against sunspot reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) using a three-tiered comparison metric. Statistical confidence is demonstrated for algorithm performance and consistency when compared against the SWPC data set, suggesting future applications of the algorithm will perform similarly. A sunspot tracking algorithm is added to the existing code and demonstrates reliable feature tracking for time periods out to four days between consecutive images. Finally, an empirical Mount Wilson Magnetic Classification algorithm is generated with early testing exhibiting a direct match of 79.78% with SWPC magnetic classifications.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENP-MS-16-M-083

DTIC Accession Number

Pending

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