WARNING: POTENTIAL SATELLITE ANOMALY

Mark Hanning-Lee (markhl@prodigy.net)
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 10:00:51 -0700

FYI, I found this at http://www.launchspace.com/newsline/, which is a
useful space industry news sheet.

Best, Mark


WARNING: POTENTIAL SATELLITE ANOMALY
posted on 8/26/98 at 16:45 UTC by Keith Stein

Scientist monitoring solar activity are
anticipating a major impact from a large coronal
mass ejection associated with a class-X proton
solar flare observed yesterday.

The arrival of this disturbance is expected to be
strong, with potentially hazardous conditions
for spacecraft.

The disturbance is expected to have a fairly
strong shocked front.

The increased solar wind pressure may be
sufficient to temporarily drive the magnetopause
inward within geosynchronous orbit.

As a result, geosynchronous satellites may
experience a magnetopause crossing into the more
turbulent magnetosheath.

Satellite operators should be aware of this
increased risk from approximately 06:00 UTC on
26 August through 06:00 UTC on 27 August.

Magnetopause crossings are most probable during
the noon-sector transit of geosynchronous
satellites.

The anticipated disturbance is expected to
result in a major to severe geomagnetic storm.

As a result, surface charging anomalies may
affect many geosynchronous and high-inclination
orbiting spacecraft, particularly when the
spacecraft are in the midnight to sunrise
sector.

Subsequent discharges may result in electrical
upsets.

Low altitude spacecraft, particularly those with
perigees below about 500 km, could experience
large increases in atmospheric drag resulting
from enhanced atmospheric density and
upper-atmospheric heating.

This effect will commence roughly six hours
after the geomagnetic storm begins and should
last approximately twelve hours after the storm
ends.

Satellite communications through the auroral
zone may experience strong phase and amplitude
scintillation.

These conditions should begin abating on 28
August.

 1998 Launchspace Publications.