Why is upper atmosphere research important?

Severe space weather events can damage satellites and present a radiation exposure hazard to astronauts on the International Space Station and other missions, but also to the crew and passengers of commercial airlines. It can also induce extreme currents in overland power lines and transport pipe structures at higher latitudes, causing them to malfunction.

Furthermore, the induced scintillation of radio waves can perturb satellite navigation (GPS, Galileo), which may affect airplane and shipping navigation, and precision farming. Solar X-ray flares cause heavy absorption of radio waves in the ionosphere, disrupting shortwave broadcasting.

Research helps us to better understand the physical processes of the space weather and the related risks, and possibly predict their onset so that preventive or mitigation measures can be taken.



For questions, please contact outreach@pithia-nrf.eu