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Space Science

Scientists Get $2M To Predict Space Weather 40

coondoggie writes "Looking to understand better how space weather affects a variety of everyday consumer technologies, including global positioning systems, satellites for television reception, and cellular phones, researchers at Virginia Tech's Space@VT research group got a $2 million grant to build a chain of space weather instrument stations in Antarctica. The National Science Foundation grant will help the group build new radar units that will work with the current Super Dual-Auroral Radar Network — an international collaboration with support provided by the funding agencies of more than a dozen countries. The radars combine to give extensive views of the upper atmosphere in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions."
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Scientists Get $2M To Predict Space Weather

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  • Re:Antarctica? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NotNormallyNormal (1311339) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:36PM (#29206709)
    It is not for consumer technology in the Antarctic. The radars they are building will measure the plasma in the ionosphere which, correlated with the other 20 SuperDARN radars and other space science instruments, will provide information on how space weather can affect communication satellites, GPS, and ground-based networks such as cell phones and electrical systems globally. The Antarctic and Arctic regions sit in a very good position to measure the affects of the Sun on the Earth as the solar wind directly interacts with the upper atmosphere in the polar regions. A better understanding leads to better technology, for example better electrical transformers exist now to protect against surges due to large solar storms.

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