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4/06/2007

Space Storm Disrupted GPS

Solar News
April 05, 2007
"Now we are concerned more severe consequences will occur during the next solar maximum," said engineering professor Paul Kintner

Scientists confirm that GPS services were impacted by a December 2006 solar eruption. Solar radio bursts can have a significant effect on global positioning systems (GPS). Solar flares have also been known to cause power outages and disrupt satellite functions. Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observed two solar flares on December 5 and 6, 2006, which occurred during a solar minimum when solar activity is supposed to be much calmer. However, these solar radio bursts were powerful enough to stop receivers from reading the GPS signal on the entire sunlit side of the Earth, and "… produced as much as 10 TIMES MORE RADIO NOISE THAN THE PREVIOUS RECORD." "In December, we found the effect of GPS receivers were more profound and widespread than we expected. Now we are concerned more severe consequences will occur during the next solar maximum."
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