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Solar wind monitor satellite

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4 Author(s)
Kappenman, J.G. ; Minnesota Power, Duluth, MN, USA ; Albertson, Vernon D. ; Damsk, B.L. ; Dale, S.J.

The need to predict accurately the occurrence of geomagnetic disturbances, which have caused blackouts and damaged power system equipment, is discussed. It is difficult for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Air Force Air Weather Service to jointly operate the Space Environment Services Center (SESC), the civil agency responsible for monitoring solar disturbances. The SESC observes the Sun and several geophysical parameters, including the Earth's magnetic field using both ground-based and space-based sensors. This effort is hampered by incomplete information, particularly the lack of information on the fluctuations of the solar wind. The effects of solar storms on man-made systems including radio communication and radar, spacecraft electronics, satellites, pipelines, and geophysical surveys as well as power systems, are described. The solar activity that causes the disturbances is examined. A proposed satellite to monitor the solar wind and improve forecasts is discussed, and the importance of a broad base of user support is stressed.<>

Published in:

Power Engineering Review, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 5 )