Navigation, power and communications systems that rely on GPS satellite navigation will be disrupted by violent solar activity in 2011, research shows.
A study reveals Global Positioning System receivers to be unexpectedly vulnerable to bursts of radio noise produced by solar flares, created by explosions in the Sun's atmosphere.
When solar activity peaks in 2011 and 2012, it could cause widespread disruption to aircraft navigation and emergency location systems that rely heavily on satellite navigation data.
Particularly intense solar activity occurs roughly every 11 years due to cyclic changes to the Sun's magnetic field – a peak period known as the solar maximum.
Solar flares send charged particles crashing into the outer fringes of the Earth's atmosphere at high velocity, generating auroras and geomagnetic storms.
Nature vs. Technology once again