Proc. SPIE 5901, 59011A, 1−5, 2005
Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation
S. Fineschi and R.A. Viereck (eds.)
© SPIE − The International Society for Optical Engineering

Interactive Visualization of Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) Volumetric Data

Y. Yu, P. Hick and B.V. Jackson
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California San Diego


We present a volume rendering system developed for the real time visualization and manipulation of 3D heliospheric volumetric solar wind density and velocity data obtained from the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) and interplanetary scintillation (IPS) velocities over the same time period. Our system exploits the capabilities of the VolumePro 1000 board from TeraRecon, Inc., a low-cost 64-bit PCI board capable of rendering up to a 512-cubed array of volume data in real time at up to 30 frames per second on a standard PC. Many volume-rendering operations have been implemented with this system such as stereo/perspective views, animations of time-sequences, and determination of coronal mass ejection (CME) volumes and masses. In these visualizations we highlight one time period where a halo CMEs was observed by SMEI to engulf Earth on October 29, 2003. We demonstrate how this system is used to measure the distribution of structure and provide 3D mass for individual CME features, including the ejecta associated with the large prominence viewed moving to the south of Earth following the late October CME. Comparisons with the IPS velocity volumetric data give pixel by pixel and total kinetic energies for these events.