Radiation from "solar maximum" to disrupt satellite navigation networks

Posted By: Staff
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London, Feb 11 (ANI): Scientists have warned that the Sun is now on its way to another "solar maximum", which will cause the stronger levels of radiation to hit the earth, causing satellite navigation networks to experience problems and disruptions.

According to a report in the Telegraph, researchers said that satnav devices were facing the threat from an expected increase in solar flares from the Sun that could cause unpredictable errors in navigation.

Experts said that the bursts of radiation caused by the flares interfere with signals from satellites orbiting the earth, causing receivers to fail and lose track of their position.

The Sun going to another "solar maximum" will cause satnav receivers to be blinded for minutes at a time and could result in drivers becoming lost or involved in accidents.

It could also cause problems to emergency services, high-precision surveying, shipping and even military operations.

Prof Cathryn Mitchell, from the University of Bath, said while the sun's affects on navigation were difficult to project, the errors could last hours or even days.

The news could explain why systems unexpectedly lose the signal when they had perfect reception only moments before.

There have been several recent examples of satnav blunders where drivers, blindly following their systems have caused accidents by taking a wrong turning or attempting to programme the device while driving.

Researchers have previously said the solar burst could be strong enough to affect civil aviation navigation systems but to a lesser degree than the GPS network, which uses a different atellite system. (ANI)

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