ACS6126 Advanced Space Systems and Space Weather

Module Description

The module provides students with an understanding of the concept advanced space systems, within the context of "Space Weather" and processes in the geo-space that can have hazardous effects on modern ground based and space based technological systems. It covers knowledge about susceptibility of services such as power supply, communications, transportation and navigation to space weather events, and introduces methodologies for space weather forecast based on systems engineering approaches from first principles. The module also provides knowledge of the requirements for transferring forecasting models into operational tools for space weather forecasting, before covering how space weather forecasting can assist in mitigating adverse effects of space weather.

Credits: 15 (Autumn semester)

Module Leader

Professor M BalikhinProfessor M Balikhin
Room B25, Amy Johnson Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Outside of lectures please contact me to arrange an appointment.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

    1) Will be able to explain the concept of collisionless plasma and the role of electro-magnetic field and waves play in collisionless plasma dynamical processes. (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    2) Will be able to summarise physical processes within the solar terrestrial system that lead to hazards for modern technological systems. (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    3) Will be able to explain the concept of space weather and parameters used to characterise various aspects of space weather (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    4) Will be able to explain the concepts of geomagnetic disturbances and geomagnetic storm and parameters used to characterise their strengths (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    5) Will be able to explain the space related radiation hazards, their effects on modern technological systems and parameters used to characterise their strengths (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    6) Will be able to explain effects of space weather on radio communications (SM1i, SM1m, SM6m)
    7) Will be able to classify methodologies developed to forecast the space weather and analyse performance of space forecasting tools ( EA2i, EA2m)

This module satisfies the AHEP3 (Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes, Third Edition) Learning Outcomes that are listed in brackets after each learning outcome above. For further details on AHEP3 Learning Outcomes, see the downloads section of our accreditation webpage.

Syllabus

Syllabus

  1. Role of Space based technological systems in modern society.
  2. Introduction to space plasma. MHD. Plasma waves and instabilities. Collisionless Shocks. Magnetic Reconnection.
  3. Sun. Solar activity. Solar wind. Solar cycles. Sunspots, Solar flares, CME, CIR.
  4. Geospace. Interaction of the terrestrial magnetic field with the solar wind. Bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetosphere, radiation belts, magnetotail, ionosphere.
  5. SEP events and their effect on technological systems
  6. Geomagnetic disturbances, geomagnetic indices, geomagnetic storms and their effects on technological systems.
  7. Fluxes of energetic particles within the radiation belts and their effects on spacecraft operation.
  8. Forecast of space weather current status and challenges.
  9. Transfer from forecasting models to operational tools.
Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures: 24 hours
Tutorial Classes: 10 hours
Independent Study: 112 hours

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

All teaching materials will be available via MOLE.

Assessment

Assessment

Formal Examination (2 hours) - 70%
Coursework - 30%

No resit examination is available for this module.

Feedback

Feedback

You will have an opportunity to view marked Exam Scripts once Exam results have been confirmed by the Faculty and released to students. The date of this Review session will be announced by the Departmental Office.

You will be able to look at the exam paper and a sample solution on the MOLE page for this module. The paper and solution will be available after the exam period.

Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

  • Delores J Knipp, Understanding Space Weather and The Pyhsics Behind it, 2011
  • Vincent L. Pisacane, The Space Environment and Its Effects on Space Systems, Second Edition, 2016
  • Kivelson, M; and Russell, C. T; eds., Introduction to Space Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1995 [available in Western Bank Library, Q523.2(I)]