The technological impacts of space weather at ground level are the result of space physics processes driven by solar activity and by geophysical processes both external and internal to the solid Earth. Space weather causes geomagnetically induced currents that can damage power transformers and safety systems. It enhances voltage differences in metal gas transmission pipelines, which increases corrosion rates in pipe steel. Large surface electric fields during space weather may also trip rail circuits. To tackle questions such as where, how big and for how long do impacts last, requires a multi-disciplinary approach. The NERC ‘Space Weather Impacts on Ground-based Systems’ (SWIGS) project therefore brought together a broad spectrum of scientific expertise to answer such questions.
SWIGS reaches its end in 2021 and this discussion meeting is intended for the scientific community to take stock of what we have learned about space weather and its impacts at ground level, in the last few years, as well as to discuss the scientific and operational breakthroughs that are still required. Given recent UKRI support for development of operational space weather services in the UK, the timing of this meeting seems particularly appropriate, as we look to a next generation of space weather models and applications.
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Juliane Hübert (BGS, Edinburgh)
Gemma S Richardson (BGS, Edinburgh)
Neil C. Rogers (Lancaster)
Alan W P Thomson (BGS Edinburgh)