Jump to content

GPS Errors During Solar Maximum

Followers 1

Recommended Posts

I guess Geocaching skills will play a bigger part in obtaining our goal!


Researchers say the Sun is awakening after a period of low activity, which does not bode well for a world ever more dependent on satellite navigation.


The last time the Sun reached a peak in activity, satellite navigation was barely a consumer product.


"We can look at the measurements from the last solar maximum," Professor Mitchell said.


"If we project those forward, it varies quite a lot across the Earth; looking at the UK it will be about 10-metre errors in the positioning."


"You might find for a number of hours or even a day or two you couldn't go out surveying or be able to dock your oil tanker at the deep-ocean oil well," he told BBC News.


Read More

Edited by Seedillume
Link to comment

I guess I don't know enough about the GPS system in general, but doesn't the fact that you're typically triangulating between multiple satellites reduce the chance of error, regardless of whether the error is caused by solar flares or whatnot?


Click the link for a good description on how GPS works and how the flares can affect it.

In short, the flares will affect the signal strength, so your receiver will have a harder time picking up the signal. Secondly, the flares affect the ionosphere which will cause even more delay to the signal. The delay in the signal is a big contributor to decreasing accuracy.

Link to comment

Don't get too worried. This solar maximum is likely to be the lowest in the space age. It is likely to be as low as some of the very low maximums from the early 1900s. Don't listen to anyone who clames this will be a unusualy high maximum. They are just fear mongers. With the prolonged minimum we just endured, history suggests that this will result in a low maximum, and possible a few low maximums in a row.

Link to comment

Haven't looked to see what the predictions are, but it is true not all solar max's are the same. It is a phenomenon that runs cyclic. I believe one (predicted) flare during solar max a few years ago had a number companies shutting down satellites for fear of damage and the shuttle mission was cut short to keep the astronauts out of harm's way. To my knowledge no damage occurred and all sats were reactivated successfully (leaving them "on" may well have caused damage).


Scientists are still 'guessing' as to just what flares do or don't do for earth and its' occupants.


Interesting stuff, really. :lol:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 1
  • Create New...