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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:Space weather (Score:5, Informative)

    by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:17PM (#29203403) Homepage Journal
    I know it was a joke, so WHOOOSH me if you must, but in the interest of pedantry I feel the burning need to correct you. Space is only cold and dark when you are in the shadow of some other body (planet, asteroid, whatever). If you happen to be outside the shadow of a body, then you can forget cold, and you can forget dark. Keeping electronics functioning on satellites when there is blistering, unfiltered solar radiation hitting your spacecraft is no easy task. In other words, 'cold and dark' only describes a very small number of relative orientations an object may have to the sun.

  • Re:GOES satellites? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NotNormallyNormal ( 1311339 ) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:01PM (#29204089)

    This is wrong. The GOES satellites [] are geo-synchronous, meaning they remain at continuous location with respect to the Earth. This also means that they are not in polar orbits. These satellites are similar to the LANL satellites [] but occupy the western hemisphere. You may be thinking of the DMSP satellites [].

    GOES is useful at measuring the magnetic fields. It does not, however, measure the ionospheric particles such as is done with the SuperDARN [] coherent scatter radars or the EISCAT [] or PFISR [] incoherent scatter radars. The group at the University of Saskatchewan [] has also received money to build a new radar which is scheduled to be built on the NE corner of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. It will be their 5th radar.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.