UAH-led space weather predictions could be vital for Space Command

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Research conducted at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) could impact the success of Space Command’s mission here in Huntsville.

The program, developed by UAH professor Dr. Nikolai Pogorelov, aims at improving space weather predictions that are “essential to the protection of our military and civilian space-based assets,” according to Dr. Gary Zank, the director of the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) and chair of the Department of Space Science.

“UAH, through its CSPAR/SPA researchers are leading world-class research programs that are important to space weather and so would be critical to the Space Force’s mission,” said Zank.

Zank stated the program would be concerned with the “integrity and resilience of communications, global positioning and navigation, and short- and long-term response to natural threats initiated by solar disturbances.”

“The solar wind emerging from the sun is the main driving mechanism of solar events, which may lead to geomagnetic storms that are the primary causes of space weather disturbances that affect the magnetic environment of Earth and may have hazardous effects on space-borne and ground-based technological systems, as well as human health,” said Pogolorev. “For this reason, accurate modeling of the solar wind is a necessary part of space weather forecasting.”

Dr. Pogolorev served as the principal investigator for the three-year project, a $3.2 million collaboration between the National Science Foundation and NASA.

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