“We have been observing the sun during the space age for only 50 years and we do not fully understand its behavior, especially the extremes of its behavior. In 2006 there was an eruption of solar radiation 100 times more intense than expected that temporarily silenced many GPS receivers over the sun-lit Earth. What is the ultimate limit of such eruptions of solar energy? Is it 1,000 times more intense, 10,000 times more intense? We just don’t know.
“For the past 50 or 60 years, the sun has been quite predictable. In recent years, it has become less predictable, which calls into question our understanding of how the sun operates and our ability to predict is impact on technology.
“However, we do know that our increasingly more efficient infrastructure is also less robust and more vulnerable. Every time its efficiency is improved and money is saved, the chances for a catastrophic failure are increased and this includes failures produced by space weather.
“For many GPS applications, business plans make demands that the designers of GPS never envisioned – nor does the U.S government guarantee. Space weather – such as the upcoming period of increased solar activity – will challenge these business plans and test the vulnerabilities of our communications and navigation infrastructure.”
--Paul M. Kintner, an expert on GPS and satellite communication and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University.
Joe Schwartz | Newswise Science News
New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers
12.12.2017 | Princeton University
PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems
11.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
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