Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Göttingen astrophysicists develop European space weather early warning system

11.05.2011
Scientists aim to avert technical disruption in the event of solar storms

Severe solar storms can disrupt the smooth operation of technological systems on earth, or even cause them to fail completely. Electric power outages of longer duration or disruptions of satellite navigation and communication are particularly critical in this context. In the coming years, scientists at Göttingen University are consequently aiming to develop a prototype for a European space weather early warning system.


Development of a solar storm in the corona at the left edge of the sun in the visible spectral range (A) and the connected "sun-tsunami" on the solar disc in the UV spectral range (B). The pictures from different perspectives were taken at the same time by the two satellites of NASA's STEREO mission. Source: Guiseppe Nistico, Institute for Astrophysics, University of Göttingen, and Universita della Calabria, Italy.

Specifically, the early warning system is intended to safeguard the operation of telecommunication and navigation systems on earth. Under the direction of the Göttingen astrophysicist Dr. Volker Bothmer, institutions and enterprises in Germany, Belgium, Norway, the Ukraine and the USA are collaborating. The European Union is granting almost two million euros in support of the project. The entire project funding amounts to more than 2.5 million euros.

Solar storms are a consequence of extremely rapid gas eruptions in the sun’s atmosphere, at speeds of up to ten million kilometres per hour. Within one day these storms can cover the approximately 150 million kilometers to reach the earth, where they become visible in the form of polar lights, for example. The scientists are predicting maximum levels of sun activity for 2012 and 2013. In order to develop an early warning system by that time, they are analysing space weather data from space missions currently in operation: NASA’s STEREO, SDO and ACE missions, ESA’s mission Proba 2, and the international space station ISS. Using model calculations and computer simulations, they aim to forecast the arrival of severe solar storms and their expected impact with the highest possible degree of reliability, so that measures to secure the technology at risk in Europe can be implemented in time. This work is being carried out using high temporal resolution 3D mapping of the distribution of electron density in the earth’s upper atmosphere which the University of Göttingen together with the German Aerospace Centre will be making available online.

In addition to the University of Göttingen, partners in the project “Advanced Forecast For Ensuring Communications Through Space (AFFECTS)” are the German Aerospace Centre in Neustrelitz, the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques in Freiburg, the firm Astrium ST in Friedrichshafen, the Planetarium Hamburg, the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Tromsø in Norway, the Ukrainian Space Research Institute, and the Space Weather Prediction Center of the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The administrative project management will be carried out by the EU Office at the University of Göttingen in cooperation with the project director.

Contact:
Dr. Volker Bothmer
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Fakultät für Physik – lnstitut für Astrophysik
Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)551 39-5044, Fax: +49 (0)551 39-5043
Email: bothmer@astro.physik.uni-goettingen.de

Dr. Bernd Ebeling | Uni Göttingen
Further information:
http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/3240.html?cid=3866
http://www.astro.physik.uni-goettingen.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

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...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

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,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>