December 22, 2004
Solar Storms May Pose Threat To Smaller Cheaper Satellite Hopes

A 6000 kilometer area between the two Van Allen belts was previously thought to be a "safe zone" where lighter, smaller, cheaper, and less heavily shielded satellites could operate. But a discovery with a research satellite has found that during severe solar storms high energy particles spill into the zone where it was hoped that cheap satellites with little shielding could operate.

A region of space around the Earth that was previously thought to be free of radiation actually teems with high-energy charged particles during solar storms. The news may dash scientists' hopes of sending up ultra-cheap, lightweight satellites that do not carry much protection against radiation.

Read the full article for the details.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2004 December 22 02:15 PM  Airplanes and Spacecraft

Invisible Scientist said at December 27, 2004 7:19 AM:

1) As science progresses, there will be new advanced in solid state physics to make the
electronic components more rugged. Additionally, as the electronic components become more
efficient and miniturized, even the small satellites will have enough room to surround the
electronic components with thick armor.

2) Cheaper satellites and cheaper rockets in the future, will make it possible to launch
spare satellites as satellites every year.

3) As an alternative to satellites, there are already new prototypes for high altitude
balloons and cheap high altitude planes that will be able to stay in the air for several months,
or even years, because theseaircraft will be powered by solar energy.

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