Mitigating the effects of space weather (from UK Met Office)
Space weather has always occurred, but our modern reliance on technology driven systems makes us more susceptible to their impacts. Different systems are exposed to varying levels of risk depending on technical design, location and the type of space weather that can affect them.
The challenge is to ensure new systems are designed with appropriate engineering solutions to minimise the risk posed by space weather. Whilst impacts such as degradation of GNSS / GPS could affect us all, there are specific industries more exposed to space weather risks.
|How forecasting can help
Damage to grid infrastructure
|Energy companies can use space weather services to help minimise the impact of geomagnetic storms, improve the design and modelling of future, more resilient, systems and increased monitoring of impacted systems.|
|Satellite||Damage to satellites
Impacts on performance
|Satellite operators can use space weather forecasts to advise of potential degradation or failures in the services they provide.|
|Communications||Loss of long distance radio
|Advance notice of heightened solar activity can help flag the risk of blackouts.|
|Aviation||Disruption to HF comms and high latitude routes
Additional radiation doses at high altitude
|Advance notice of space weather events is critical to rerouting of high latitude flights, and to alert aircraft in flight of possible loss of communications.|
|Marine||Disruption to critical navigation systems||Mariners can benefit from space weather forecasts to advise of potential degradation or failures in the GNSS service.|
|Road transport||Disruption of GNSS||Space weather forecasts help road users understand when Sat Navs may be unreliable.|
|Rail transport||Disruption of GNSS||Space weather forecasts help rail network operators understand when rail systems may be at risk.|
The UK Met Office works closely with industry to identify the threat, the extent of the impacts and to understand how forecasts can help mitigate any risk. It provides sector specific forecasts for authorities and organisations that prepare for and respond to risks such as space weather.
- Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre – click here
- Met Office Space Weather Products Catalogue – click here