Hello. This sounds like a very interesting project. I am not a geomagnetic storm or GPS expert, but I will try to help as much as I can.
To answer your Lat / Lon coordinate question. Lat / Lon can be described in different formats. Different programs and navigation systems use one of these formats:
Degrees, minutes, seconds (N 39 29 53.2)
Degrees, minutes, decimal minutes (N 39 29.8867)
Degrees, decimal degrees (N 39.4981)
There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in a degree. Start from right to left to convert deg, mins, secs to degs, mins, decimal mins and then to degs, decimal degs. Let’s use the number I listed above.
Starting with degrees, minutes, seconds: N 39 29 53.2 is 39 degrees north, 29 minutes, 53.2 seconds. Starting from the right, we want to convert 53.2 seconds to minutes:
- 53.2 seconds / 60 seconds * 1 minute = 0.8867 minutes
- Add 0.8867 to your 29 minutes => 29.8867 minutes
- You can now state the same Lat coordinate as N 39 29.8667 (degrees, minutes, decimal minutes format)
- Move on in your conversion. We want to convert 29.8667 minutes to degrees:
- 29.8867 minutes / 60 minutes * 1 degree = 0.4981 degrees.
- add 0.4981 to your 39 degrees.
- You can now state the same Lat coordinate as N 39.4981 (degrees, decimal degrees format)
Therefore, N 39 29 53.2 is equivalent to N 39 29.8867 is equivalent to N 39.4981!
The N simply indicates this location is north of the equator. There is an equivalent location on the earth south of the equator. This would be listed as S 39 29 53.2.
More information on lat / lon coordinate system and formats here:http://www.maptools.com/tutorials/lat_lon
I am sorry your data results aren't what you were hoping for. This is not uncommon in science experiments. That doesn't mean you did anything wrong, it doesn't mean you didn't learn anything, and it doesn't mean there isn't useful information. I agree with theborg…you should never throw data out or ignore it. It is a record of work you did and problems that have already been investigated. By reporting this data, this could save another scientist (yourself included, perhaps!) time / money / effort in the future by not having to repeat what you have already done.
You say Kp values should range 0-9 but yours range 0-5. Again, I am not familiar with this rating system, but the NOAA website describes values ranging from 5-9. They list a G scale from 1-5. Are these the numbers you are referring to?http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales/index.html#
Scatter plots are an excellent way to investigate correlation. Why are you interested in plotting lat / lon? Plotting lat / lon coordinates will simply show where you took your readings. I assume you took all of your data readings from the same location? Your back yard or at school perhaps? If you took your readings in the same place (or pretty close…as in within the same city), I’m guessing your chart consists of several points on top of each other.
How about a scatter plot consisting of your kP value on one axis and your error calculations on the other axis? Have you been following this procedure? In the procedures section, they describe a recommended scatter plot that I think will work well with your data.http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Weather_p009.shtml
So, you don’t think your data is interesting, because there haven’t been severe geomagnetic storms during your data collection period. There is still valuable information in your results.
- What was the range of storm severity during your data collection period? You can report to navigators that as long as geomagnetic storms are less than XXX severity (the highest severity of storm that occurred during your data collection), then the error reading between WAAS and no WAAS shouldn't be greater than XXX (your greatest error calculation). Be sure to report your sample size. It sounds like you have a lot of data. The more data…the higher confidence in your results.
- You mentioned solar radiation storms and radio blackouts were perhaps related to errors in your GPS. Another plot you could do is error reading on the y-axis over time on the x-axis. Since you say your data is pretty benign, I’m thinking your data plot will be close to a straight line across your data collection period. Are there any data points that spike up higher or lower than the rest of the data points? If so, on what day / time did these spikes occur? Do these dates / times correlate to a reported solar radiation storm, radio blackout, or other space weather phenomenon? If so, then that will be important and interesting data to report!
- I like your last idea about trying to predict that a storm happened, based on your error reading. Plot it out, calculate the percentages as you suggest, and see what you get! Bar graphs are a nice way to report percentages.
Please don’t be discouraged by the fact you don’t have as exciting data as you were hoping for. Your experiment and results are still important to the scientific community. Report as much information as you can think of. Although it may not sound interesting to you at this moment, it could be a critical piece of information to another scientist reading your results.
Please write back if you have further questions. Keep your chin up, smile, and be proud of your experiment!