Space weather forecasters are developing models that will help satellite operators which prepared for bad space weather.
But they have a problem that they are lack of measurements at high altitudes where Earth’s atmosphere meets outer space. SpaceX is now stepping in to help fill with the gaps after its firsthand real experience with an unexpected solar storm which happen earlier this year.
This year in the month of February , 40 brand-new Starlink satellites plummeted to Earth when they experience very bad space weather right after their launch.
That solar storm which caused their demise wasn’t even that bad Tzu-Wei Fang, one of the space scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),told about this to Space.com.
Changing activity of sun
Yet the incident was a taste of things to come, as the sun, after quite long period of time is waking up to a more powerful cycle of activity than many satellite operators including SpaceX had experienced ever
Situation of earths orbit
orbits near Earth have gotten conjusted since the last time the sun was really dangerous, good space and weather forecasts are becoming especially important at this . Last year, NOAA launched a model which was called the Whole Atmosphere Model, which extends the meteorological model that predicts the weather on Earth to an altitude of above 370 miles (600 kilometers). This region of atmosphere includes the second-highest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, which is called the thermosphere, where as it is thin and diffuse gases cause drag and slows satellites down.
This thin gas above the Earth’s surface changes its density when solar weather hits, and because of density changes problems cause such as those which the Starlink satellites experienced in February.
How starship will help?
In computer graphing , more data means higher reliability, but NOAA had some means to cover the gaps, which is that where SpaceX comes in. Since the mishap in the month of February, the company has been talking with NOAA to provide some of these missing measurements through the company’s satellites, Fang said.
“To improve our model and the forecast system for better weather prediction, we really need to bring in more data,” Fang said. “And that’s what SpaceX problems to do for us. They will share with us the orbital information of their satellites to help us estimate the drag and weather conditions . Since they have so many working satellites, this will provide us a lot of data points.
Starlink currently operates more than 2,200 satellites that covers orbit Earth at above altitude of 340 miles (550 km). However, the starship company launches the satellites into a much lower orbit in only 217 miles (350 km) and raising their altitude using onboard propulsion units. It is at these lower altitudes that satellites are the most predictable to sudden space weather changes. Not many satellites fly as low, Fang said, which makes acquiring data at these altitudes even more difficult
New launches of starship by elon musk will help to improve weather forcast as these satellites will cover the data of lower orbit of earth . Starship launches so many satellites to monitor orbit so fang said that we didn’t have enough data yet but this with combining elon musk he will provide us more data about orbit and it will helps our forecast model