Shelter from the solar storm? U.K. lab creates system to protect satellites from nasty space weather

National Post | News

By Ethan Bilby

LONDON — British scientists have developed a system to help protect navigation and communications satellites from potentially devastating solar storms, they said on Friday.

Services spanning everything from mobile phones to sophisticated weaponry increasingly depend on global positioning system, or GPS, technology. However damage by a massive burst of solar energy could knock out GPS satellites and send them veering into the paths of other craft or scramble their communications.

[np-related]

Led by a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), researchers from six European countries will use satellite data and ground-based measurements of the earth’s magnetic field to forecast changes in radiation. That will allow them to alert satellite operators of a sudden increase in dangerous particles and give them time to move the craft out of harm’s way, power them down or fold sensitive wings away.

“For the first time, we can now forecast radiation…

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