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HUXt — an open source, computationally efficient reduced-physics solar wind model, written in Python

Barnard, L. ORCID: and Owens, M. ORCID: (2022) HUXt — an open source, computationally efficient reduced-physics solar wind model, written in Python. Frontiers in Physics, 10. ISSN 2296-424X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fphy.2022.1005621


HUXt is an open source numerical model of the solar wind written in Python. It is based on the solution of the 1D inviscid Burger’s equation. This reduced-physics approach produces solar wind flow simulations that closely emulate the flow produced by 3-D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) solar wind models at a small fraction of the computational expense. While not intended as a replacement for 3-D MHD, the simplicity and computational efficiency of HUXt offers several key advantages that enable experiments and the use of techniques that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. For example, large ensembles of 102 –105 members can easily be run with modest computing resources, which are useful for exploring and quantifying the uncertainty in space weather predictions, as well as for the application of some data assimilation methods. In this article we present the developments in the latest version of HUXt, v4.0, and discuss our plans for future developments and applications of the model. The three key developments in v4.0 are: 1) a restructuring of the models solver to enable fully time-dependent boundary conditions, such that HUXt can in principle be initialised with in-situ observations from any of the fleet of heliospheric monitors; 2) new functionality to trace streaklines through the HUXt flow solutions, which can be used to track features such as the Heliospheric Current Sheet; 3) introduction of a small test-suite so that we can better ensure the reliability and reproducibility of HUXt simulations for all users across future versions. Other more minor developments are discussed in the article. Future applications of HUXt are discussed, including the development of both sequential and variational data assimilation schemes for assimilation of both remote sensing and in-situ plasma measures. Finally, we briefly discuss the progress of transitioning HUXt into an operational model at the UK’s Met Office Space Weather Operations Center as part of the UK governments SWIMMR programme.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:108392


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