J1.1 Space Weather Effects on Technologies: The Past And Into The Near Future

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 11:00 AM
Room 16B (Austin Convention Center)
Louis J. Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Revolutionary advances have occurred in electrical technologies over the last century and a half – from communications to navigation, to prospecting, and to the electrical grids across continents. The historical record demonstrates that since the development of the electrical telegraph in the 1840s space weather processes have affected the design, implementation, and operation of many of these technologies. Historically it has also been the case that as the complexity of systems increase, including their interconnectedness and interoperability, they can become more susceptible to the effects of Earth's space environment.

Current-day research on solar-terrestrial topics seeks not only fundamental understanding of the basic plasma physics processes that underlie solar, interplanetary, and magnetosphere phenomena, but also understanding that can be applied to the design and operations of technical systems in these environments, as well as to the possible forecasting of deleterious events. The research understandings are also often used for design of mitigation mechanisms to ensure successful system operations. While analogies of space weather forecasting to terrestrial weather forecasting are frequently made, and while many of the analogies are valid, there are also important differences. This presentation will provide some historical perspectives on space weather effects on technologies, a personal assessment of the current status of several areas including important policy issues, and a look into the not-too-distant future.

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