at Magnetosphere; Audio by Royksopp (Slow on 1st load)
But what can be done now, in preparation? #
Protecting the system is no simple task, added Paul M. Kintner Jr., a professor of electrical engineering at Cornell University, who monitored the December event.In an article by Top Tech News:
There are two possible ways to shield the system, he said, both very expensive. Either alter all GPS antennas to screen out solar signals or replace all of the GPS satellites with ones that broadcast a stronger signal.
Accurate predictions of the sun's behavior concerning such events, is likely to be the greatest challenge... New technology is needed soon. - M.B.
In addition to the GPS system, the December solar flare affected satellites and induced unexpected currents in the electrical grid, Johnson said. "The effects were more profound than we expected and more widespread than we expected," added Kintner.
The difference between that burst and normal solar radio emissions "was like the difference between noise level of a normal conversation & noise level in the front row of a rock concert," he said.
"This is a wake-up call" to improve technology, commented Anthony J. Mannucci, group supervisor at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Read more
"The real problem is only now becoming known because the rapid rise of GPS devices has occurred in a period of relatively low solar noise"...read more