This course is aimed to make people, and engineers in particular, aware of the solar or spatial origin of the disturbances and disruptions that are witnessed in many ground based and spatial technological systems, and to explain the physical mechanisms behind them, to indicate where to find the relevant predictive data and to train how to interpret them in order to lower the risk of damage to technical equipment and economic losses. As a matter of fact, Space Weather predictions are readily available nowadays and the Space Weather community has been working hard to make them widely accessible through disseminating forecast bulletins, alerts, etc.
Against this background, the School is targeted at training engineering personnel so that they are capable of taking protective measures when Space Weather alerts are issued, to the benefit of their companies.
The Training School is foreseen to be offered on an annual basis, with each session targeting a specific audience of engineers - in telecommunications, navigation, electrical disciplines etc.). This year's focus is on:
and their effects in the power-grid and pipelines
Introduction on Space Weather and its effects
The whole set of complex effects of the radiation and the plasma stream from the Sun on the Earth and her magnetosphere, our technological systems, our climate and the people determines most of the so-called Space Weather. The explosions that occur frequently on the Sun and especially the magnetic plasma clouds, which we call coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the most important, but not the only, solar drivers of the space weather. The detectable effects on Earth and its spatial environment appear in a broad spectrum of time and length scales and have various harmful effects for human health and for our technologies. Polar light (aurora) is one of the nicest and least harmful space weather effects but alas, the space weather can also have less amusing effects on Earth. Bad weather conditions in space can hinder or damage satellite operations and disturb or even disrupt tele-communication and navigation systems and the related geo-magnetic storms induce peak currents in pipelines and even cause power grid outages leading to a variety of tremendous socio-economic losses. Moreover, it causes radiation risks for the crew and passengers on air planes and astronauts in space. The introductory session gives an overview of these effects and the physical mechanisms behind them and explains how these can be modeled and predicted.