K-Index Monitor

Today I want to share my thoughts about the K-Index app.
I have been using this app for the past few days, and I can tell that it is very useful.

As you might have read, I also use the UAV Forecast app, that is a very complete app that also shows the weather at your location, including wind speeds.
Even though the app is great, it also shows information that we can sense ourselves as well.
We can sense wind speeds, and we can see, and feel if it is raining or not.

One thing we cannot see, nor feel is the K index!
In short, The K-index quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth’s magnetic field with an integer in the range 0–9 with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm.

More detailed information is on WikiPedia.

People don’t feel this, but drones do “feel” it.
Simple drones without GPS and compass can be flown regardless of the K Index, but if you own a GPS drone you might take note of the K index before flying.

A High K index can, and if high enough, will disturb your drone, and can cause flyaways.
This is where the K-Index Monitor comes in handy!

K-index sits in the background of your phone/tablet and gives an alerts if high levels of solar activity are generating geomagnetic storms – potentially disrupting GPS reception.
As you can see from below screenshots it is nice and clear. and it doesn’t disturb your normal tasks.
There is no need to open an app, instead the K Index gets updated every 30 minutes.

For this function it WILL use data, so if you don’t have data with your mobile subscription the app will not update on the go.

How does the app collect it’s data?

The Estimated 3-hour Planetary Kp-index is derived at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center using data from the following ground-based magnetometers: Sitka, Alaska; Meanook, Canada; Ottawa, Canada; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Hartland, UK; Wingst, Germany; Niemegk, Germany; and Canberra, Australia. These data are made available thanks to the cooperative efforts between SWPC and data providers around the world, which currently includes the U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), the British Geological Survey, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), and Geoscience Australia. Important magnetometer observations are also contributed by the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris and the Korean Space Weather Center.

K-Index monitor will check the value every 1/2 hour and show the K-index in the devices notification bar.
The 1/2 hour update can be bypassed when tapping the K-Index value in the running process screen.

0, 1, 2 and 3 are shown in green and okay.
4 is yellow and maybe still okay.
5 and above are red, and not advisable to use a GPS device as GPS satellites might be affected!

At this moment it is only available for Android:
That doesn’t mean that there is nothing for iOS, just not this app.

After using this app for a few days I can say that it’s better to use than the UAV forecast app.
Not that that app is obsolete, this one is just faster.

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