Storm fighters

August 4, 2000

The space insurance industry and the Tsunami initiative, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry Sector Challenge, has given Pounds 120,000 to fund two research projects into the role of space weather in satellite failures.

Scientists from Mullard Space Science Laboratory and British Antarctic Survey will attempt to match known violent space weather events with satellite failures using data from space and from the ground. MSSL will also develop a spacecraft "black box" to measure the amount of exposure to "killer" electrons caused by the sun.

Space weather has been blamed for satellite failures that have cost the insurance industry billions of pounds. Both projects will help space insurers minimise losses and set premiums.

Details: www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk.

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