Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mr. Map Is Your Fren'

You do remember how to use a map, right?
The super-active sunspot responsible for unleashing the three most powerful solar flares of 2013 within a 24-hour stretch this week is slowly rotating toward Earth and will likely be facing our planet by the weekend, experts say. ... Scientists give AR1748 a 40 to 50 percent chance of firing off another X-class flare, he added, though this probability is a rough estimate that could change as further information becomes available.

X-class flares aimed at Earth can have consequences on a planet-wide scale, triggering widespread radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.

Earth-directed CMEs have even more destructive potential. When a CME's charged particles interact with Earth's magnetic field, they can spawn geomagnetic storms powerful enough to disrupt GPS signals, radio communications and power grids.
While this just doesn't apply to aviation (lots of drivers couldn't find their asses anymore with both hands if they didn't have a GPS), it's worth noting that the eventually-to-be-decommissioned VOR network doesn't have anywhere near that degree of susceptibility to solar flares.

My recollection was that LORAN-C signals could be affected, but not the stations themselves. How strong (and what polarity) a CME must be in order to fry a GPS satellite is not something that I know. But I suspect that is not at all improbable and at a CME-strength that is far less than a Carrington Event.


Nangleator said...

"...the eventually-to-be-decommissioned VOR network doesn't have anywhere near that degree of susceptibility to solar flares."

I remember reading about western military experts smirking when they found out the Russians were using vacuum tubes in their newest fighters... until they realized that vacuum tubes are so much safer in an EMP environment.

Old NFO said...

Actually they are bringing back E-LORAN... It's been determined to be an excellent 'fallback' if the SHTF...