uah p 17031

Docket: UAH-P-17031


Solar radiation can have an impact on critical systems, such as the power grid. If solar radiation were to have an unexpected decrease, it could have negative impacts on the power grid’s ability to supply all customers with power. As solar power becomes more commonly used, there is a greater need for accurate solar radiation forecasting. Giving ample time to make adjustments for a decrease in solar power generated ensures that the amount of power available for customers does not change.

Researchers at UAH have developed a new algorithm for solar radiation nowcasting using 5-15 minute geostationary satellite imagery, which results in higher quality solar radiation forecasts in the ~1-3 hour timeframe. Currently there are methods to compute solar radiation, but these systems lack the ability to project the solar radiation estimate into the future. The higher quality forecasts produced using satellite imagery, coupled to a nowcasting procedure, can provide considerable benefits to those needing to predict incoming solar energy.

This new technology developed at UAH has the ability to forecast changes in solar radiation of specific area, within ~2 kilometers. The resolution for this method of forecasting is also much more efficient. Current methods provide only an instantaneous solar radiation estimate every 15 minutes. Combining this greater accuracy and resolution, accurate solar radiation forecasts for a specific area can now be determined up to 3 hours in advance. This gives the power grid time to adjust and provide other means of power if the forecast shows a decrease in solar radiation.


  • Solar radiation nowcasting
  • Power grids
  • Solar power


  • Accurate
  • Higher resolution
  • Satellite Imagery


  • State of Development: Concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary