GAEC will hold a public lecture on the effect of the sun on technology and human life

The Ghana Institute of Space Science and Technology (GSSTI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is set to organize a public lecture on the effects of the sun on satellites and technology as well as life and human health.

The event, themed “The Effects of Space Weather on Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS and Remote Sensing Applications,” takes place July 12, 2022 in the School of Science Lecture Hall nuclear and related (SNAS) at Kwabenya in Accra.

The public lecture, part of a series of activities leading up to the official launch of the GSSTI’s 10th anniversary celebration, aims to critically assess and analyze the changing conditions of the sun and space, as well as their impact on the global positioning system. (GPS), other navigation systems, technology and human life, and to provide users and service providers with mitigation measures.

The public lecture is expected to welcome the founding director of the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research and professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, Professor Wayne A. Scales, as a guest speaker.

In a pre-conference interview, the Deputy Director of GSSTI at GAEC, Dr. Joseph B. Tandoh, introduced Professor Scales as an expert in remote sensing of the near-Earth space environment from ground-based platforms and space using advanced computer modeling, field measurements and data analysis, among others.

According to Dr. Tandoh, the conference will be an insightful discussion with relevant stakeholders on how changing conditions on the sun and in space can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning systems, data collection weather information and forecasts.

He also mentioned that the conference will discuss how these conditions can cause the ionosphere to change. [Earth’s atmosphere densely packed with ions and free electrons that reflect radio waves]which reduces GPS accuracy.

“It should also be noted that the sun is a dynamic system and that dynamics can and do affect us here on earth. For example, geomagnetic storms [a major disturbance of the earth’s magnet field caused by solar wind] can result in extremely high currents flowing through transformers and cables, which can disrupt power lines and even lead to widespread blackouts,” he explained.

“It is therefore important that we are well informed of these events in space so that we can appreciate them and take the necessary precautions,” he added.

Public lecture coordinator and researcher at GSSTI, Dr. Naomi Asabre Frimpong, explained that the influence of the sun, which has a direct link with these devices and other equipment through the energy they emit, is sometimes responsible for the disruptions to the mobile phone network. rather than service providers.

“Therefore, understanding these natural activities helps a lot, because remote sensing, for example, which we use to observe the Earth from space to help with disaster management, urban planning, crop monitoring, security etc. may be disrupted by these activities,” she noted.

“Therefore, this conference will impart knowledge on the effects of space weather [activities on the sun and in space] on technology and human life as well as potential mitigation measures,” she added.

Academics, researchers, policy makers, telecommunications service providers, navigation system manufacturers, science students and participants from all walks of life will attend the public lecture.

Angela C. Hale