When this NWRA web site was initiated in 1997, the only real-time values available for the widely-used Kp index of global geomagnetic activity were estimates based on limited sets of magnetometer data or estimates derived from observations of the equatorward edge of the auroral oval precipitation from DMSP SSJ4 sensors. We have referred to these as either preliminary or effective (the SSJ4 estimate) Kp values.
In the last few years, the GeoForchungsZentrum Helmholtz Centre Potsdam. has been posting initial IAGA "quicklook" estimates of Kp on the Internet in real-time and definitive values within a month or less of the observation time. As of March 2008, we have started replacing use of the preliminary Kp values by IAGA quicklook Kp values from the GFZ Potsdam site. Where we are using the IAGA quicklook Kp values, either directly or as an input to an algorithm that produces another parameter, we will refer to these as 'IAGA Kp'.
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