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A space weather survival guide
Outline
What is the problem?

Why should we care?

What can we do about it?
What is the problem?
“Space weather destroys stuff”

Credit: ESA
An introduction to solar physics
The Sun undergoes an
11-year activity cycle.
Solar activity cause
solar flares and
corona...
Interaction with Earth’s magnetic field
(possible) Impacts on humanity
Satellites stop functioning.
Power grids fail.
Critical services become unavailable without...
Why should we care?

“All of this has happened
before, and it will all
happen again” – J.M.
Barrie
Credit: ESA
1859 –Carrington Event
Carrington observed a solar flare coming from a
sunspot

Several days later Earth experienced the
s...
Quebec Event
On March 13th, 1989, a large solar storm hit
Earth.
Geomagnetically induced currents destroyed
transformers i...
Halloween Storm
Strong solar storm hit Earth on October 2003.
New York area suffer from blackout for more
than 30 hours, a...
In the meantime…
The above mentioned are “low frequency high
impact” events.
High frequency low impact storms occur all th...
Carrington today?
The world today depends on electricity and
computers to function.
A Carrington like event today can dest...
What can we do about it?
Awareness
Terrestrial protection
Spacecraft protection

Credit: NASA
Spacecraft Protection
Learn more about solar physics and space weather
• Study data from other stars (e.g. Kepler data)
• ...
SolarMax - A space weather survival guide
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SolarMax - A space weather survival guide

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Presentation for the International Astronautical Conference in Beijing, China, September 2013. This paper describes the risks of solar maximum and space weather in general to space craft and terrestrial infrastructure. It is the final results of a research team project by students of the International Space University Space Studies Program 2013.

Download the full report and executive summary at http://isulibrary.isunet.edu/opac/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=8859

Published in: Technology, Business
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SolarMax - A space weather survival guide

  1. 1. A space weather survival guide
  2. 2. Outline What is the problem? Why should we care? What can we do about it?
  3. 3. What is the problem? “Space weather destroys stuff” Credit: ESA
  4. 4. An introduction to solar physics The Sun undergoes an 11-year activity cycle. Solar activity cause solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME). During these events, high energy particles are ejected to the solar system. Some of them might hit Earth… Credit: NASA
  5. 5. Interaction with Earth’s magnetic field
  6. 6. (possible) Impacts on humanity Satellites stop functioning. Power grids fail. Critical services become unavailable without electricity and satellites. Major global crisis could take place! Credit: “World without us” by A. Weisman
  7. 7. Why should we care? “All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again” – J.M. Barrie Credit: ESA
  8. 8. 1859 –Carrington Event Carrington observed a solar flare coming from a sunspot Several days later Earth experienced the strongest geomagnetic storm ever recorded
  9. 9. Quebec Event On March 13th, 1989, a large solar storm hit Earth. Geomagnetically induced currents destroyed transformers in North American power grid. The power grid failed in Quebec area for over 9 hours, leaving 5-6 million people without electricity. The associated damage is estimated between 4-10B$.
  10. 10. Halloween Storm Strong solar storm hit Earth on October 2003. New York area suffer from blackout for more than 30 hours, affecting 50-60 million people. The associated damage is 4-20B$. Space missions experience damage and faults (deep space and near Earth). Credit: SHTFPlan.org
  11. 11. In the meantime… The above mentioned are “low frequency high impact” events. High frequency low impact storms occur all the time and cause minor failures, some not even associated with space weather. Credit: David Shankbone
  12. 12. Carrington today? The world today depends on electricity and computers to function. A Carrington like event today can destroy satellites, power grids, computers and critical infrastructure. The world, as we know it, will disappear and economy might be thrown back 100 years!
  13. 13. What can we do about it? Awareness Terrestrial protection Spacecraft protection Credit: NASA
  14. 14. Spacecraft Protection Learn more about solar physics and space weather • Study data from other stars (e.g. Kepler data) • Improve solar observation capabilities Prepare satellites for extreme space weather (shielding, redundancy, safe modes…) Rethink human spacecraft design Create space weather detection and forecasting network

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