A new space-weather model is under development in Los Alamos National Laboratory and it could be very helpful in saving satellites. This model accurately predicts high-energy space storms which could harm the satellites and spacecraft that orbit around the outer radiation belt of Earth. A paper was recently being published in the journal Space Weather which gives out the details about this model. It gives warning one day prior to any space storm. In space, storms are caused by ultra-high-speed electrons and these are called killer electrons. These electrons can dangerously damage the communication, navigation, weather monitoring systems of spacecraft and satellites. This new and first-of-its-kind model can accurately predict the killer electrons.
Today, the society relies a lot on the modern technology, which required the satellites and spacecrafts to be safe. If by any chance, the communication satellites or GPS fails, it will negatively affect a large part of daily activities like bank transactions, traveling, etc. Hence, it is necessary to protect them from space weather threats. A model that would predict such threats accurately was a long-time goal of the scientists and a strong step has been taken now.
At the equator of the Earth, the At the outer radiation belt starts, which is about 8,000 miles above the Earth’s surface and ends at beyond 30,000 miles. Inside this belt, many high-speed high-energy electrons are present which are highly variable, especially during the storms from the sun i.e. when the particles from the sun enter space environment of the earth. Such a situation is very difficult to be predicted.
The scientists say that they are sure and excited about the model and its future enhancements. With more and more research on this model, more reliable and accurate results could be secured. It could help to increase the warning time before the killer electrons arrive. It will also be helpful for the mission controllers to get enough time to either shut down the satellites temporarily or take them out of danger. The model is still in the testing phase.
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