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Solar Storm Messes with GPS - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Solar Storm Messes with GPS

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  The biggest solar storm in years is racing towards earth.  A massive cloud of charged particles could disrupt utility grids, airline flights, satellites and GPS networks.

  Dr. Ed Krupp/Griffith Observatory Director: "High technology is always vulnerable because we've got it up at a level where this stuff is coming in. It didn't used to be like this but since we started putting satellites up in space we obviously have to deal with this as well. Now people have been designing satellites to protect them from this kind of thing and there is a great deal that's done and can be done. You kind of take defensive action. Same thing with the electrical grid. But it prudent at a time like this to reroute aircraft. We know that GPS systems and satellites are vulnerable and so they wind up skirting further south trying to south - trying to stay away from where the major number of particles happen to be."

  For us on earth, cell phones and GPS devices could hit a snag and according to doctor Krupp, if anything happens... we'll know it.

  Dr. Ed Krupp/Griffith Observatory Director: "The average person doesn't have to worry about a thing but stay alert. If infact somebody has some trouble with the satellite phone system or the GPS, you'll know it when you are trying to use your equipment."

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