Geomagnetic storms (space weather) are rapidly becoming one of the biggest potential threats to modern society. They can cause serious damage to power grids, communications satellites and other vital infrastructure.

Severe space weather is one of the highest priority natural hazards in the UK National Risk Register and is recognised as having potential significant impact on the UK’s critical national infrastructure.

In response to the Government adding solar storms to the National Risk Register (NRR) of Civil Emergencies in 2011, the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC) was created to provide a UK operational space weather prediction centre to help protect the country from the serious threats posed by space weather events.

British Antarctic Survey works with the Met Office as well as a range of UK partners including Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC),  British Geological Survey (BGS), University of Bath, RAL Space, and several other universities contribute data, knowledge and models to support Met Office operational forecasting.

SPACECAST is a Collaborative Project funded by the European Union Framework 7 programme to help protect satellites on orbit by modelling and forecasting particle radiation. British Antarctic Survey plays a leading role in SPACECAST providing expert advice and resources to support satellite operators, designers and insurers.

Geomagnetic storms (space weather) are rapidly becoming one of the biggest potential threats to modern society. They can cause serious damage to power grids, communications satellites and other vital infrastructure. The potential ongoing costs from a single serious event have been estimated at up to £1·3 trillion a year.  Regular short and long-term forecasts of space weather and solar activity help to protect the infrastructure, scientific and commercial satellites.

An industry briefing note on Space weather produced by Lloyds explains the value of space weather resesearch to business.

 

‘Sounds of Space’

Using a Very Low Frequency receiver at Halley Research Station we can pick up radio waves made by our planet. We use these waves to help us understand the science …


Joule Heating

Society is highly dependent on the fleet of satellites that surround our planet. We rely on them for entertainment, communication, navigation, weather forecasting, and more.  Many day-to-day activities, such as …




THeMES

The thermosphere is the uppermost layer of our atmosphere at the edge of space (85 to 1000 km altitude). Within this region orbit thousands of satellites worth billions of pounds …


Data As Art

DATA AS ART is a science/art project in development at NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It visualises science data (in its widest definition), to create stunning and thought-provoking artworks, using real Antarctic …


Rad-Sat

Rad-Sat is a NERC Highlight Topic that brings together a consortium of scientists from 5 different UK research groups, stakeholders from the space industry and a network of international collaborators. …


SuperDARN

The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) has been operating as an international co-operative organisation for over 20 years, and has proved to be one of the most successful tools …


The Global Electric Circuit

Weather and climate prediction are inevitably limited by incomplete knowledge of the Earth system and its external influences. One under-explored and consequently controversial area of research is the meteorological influence …


EISCAT Science Support

The EISCAT science support group is a collaboration between the British Antarctic Survey and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, funded via the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) EISCAT, the European …





SPACESTORM

SPACESTORM is a collaborative project to model space weather events and find ways to mitigate their effects on satellites. Over the last ten years the number of satellites on orbit …






Horizon Antarctica Ice Station Rescue on BBC Two

6 June, 2017

Horizon documentary ‘Antarctica Ice Station Rescue’ broadcasts on Wednesday 7 June @ 21:00 on BBC Two In 2016 British Antarctic Survey (BAS) invited BBC film-maker Natalie Hewit to its Halley …


New study reveals potential cost of solar storms

18 January, 2017

The daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could total more than $40 billion, with more than half the loss occurring outside the blackout zone, says new study. …



Royal Astronomical Society honours BAS scientist

13 January, 2017

Dr Mervyn Freeman, Senior Space Weather Researcher at British Antarctic Survey, has been awarded the prestigious Chapman Medal in Geophysics by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). The medal recognises his …


Relocation of Halley Research Station

6 December, 2016

British Antarctic Survey is getting ready to move its Halley VI Research Station 23 km across the ice.  This is the first time that the station, which has a re-locatable …


FEATURED PAPER: Energetic Electron Hazard

13 June, 2016

Energetic electrons are an important space weather hazard. In this paper we apply extreme value analysis to 16 years of operational satellite data from the NOAA Polar Operational Environmental Satellites …



NEWS STORY: Space weather features at free event

4 June, 2015

FREE event: ‘Discover Antarctica’ at British Geological Survey Open Day, Saturday 27 June, 10am-4pm Staff from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) will showcase its work at this year’s British Geological Survey …


NEWS STORY: Free event on Halley VI

27 May, 2015

FREE Public Event – Work in a cold climate: designing for the most extreme place on Earth London Festival of Architecture 2015 Thursday 18 June 2015, 18:30 – 20:00 The …


NEWS STORY: NERC placement offered

6 May, 2015

NERC Research Experience Placement 2015 A Research Experience Placement supported by EnvEast DTP and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is available at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) this …



NEWS STORY: Lessons from electrons

14 October, 2014

Study of electrons in space could help weather forecasting Researchers have discovered a formerly undetected impact of space weather on the polar atmosphere, which may explain some previously unexplained variations …


NEWS STORY: Changes in upper atmosphere

23 May, 2014

Earth’s magnetic field is important for climate change at high altitudes New research, published this week, has provided scientists with greater insight into the climatic changes happening in the upper …


NEWS STORY: Design award for Halley VI

16 May, 2014

Halley VI honoured for outstanding design and construction It’s been quite a week for Halley VI, picking up numerous Architizer A+ awards in New York and winning two more at …


NEWS STORY: Halley VI wins two awards

12 March, 2014

British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station scoops two 2014 Civic Trust Awards British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station received a 2014 Civic Trust Award and a Civic Trust Special Award …


PRESS RELEASE: Risks to satellites measured

5 February, 2014

  New risk index for satellite operators CAMBRIDGE, UK. Scientists, satellite operators, insurance industry and Government policy officials gather this week (7 February 2014) to discuss the latest advances in …


NEWS STORY: Staff head into deep Antarctica

20 December, 2013

British Antarctic Survey field season is underway On the eve of the centenary year of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition the ship which bears his name is playing a crucial role …


NEWS STORY: Improving space weather forecasting

9 June, 2013

Space weather forecasting system used by satellite operators Weather forecasting is a tricky enough job on Earth, but doing it for the outer atmosphere and beyond is even more problematic. …


NEWS STORY: BAS involved in NASA mission

30 August, 2012

British Antarctic Survey scientists involved in NASA ‘space weather’ mission WASHINGTON — NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), the first twin-spacecraft mission designed to explore the Earth’s radiation belts, launched …



PRESS RELEASE: Space weather forecasting

29 March, 2011

Major EU-funded space weather initiative launched and managed in UK A major EU-funded initiative to improve ‘space weather’ forecasting will hold its inaugural meeting in the UK on Tuesday 29 …


Northern Lights and solar flares

23 February, 2011

Recent increases in solar activity, including the largest solar flare in four years, lead to hopes of seeing the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, in the UK. …


PRESS RELEASE: New research sheds light on Aurora

20 October, 2010

New space research settles years of scientific debate New space research published this week (Thursday 21 October) in the journal Nature, has settled decades of scientific debate. Researchers from the …






Countdown to International Polar Year

14 March, 2006

One year from now the biggest internationally coordinated research effort for 50 years will begin as thousands of scientists from 60 countries focus their attention on the Polar Regions.  The …






Scientists listen to natural Dawn Chorus

29 April, 2004

International Dawn Chorus Day – Sunday 2nd May 2004 Scientists in the Antarctic listen to natural “Dawn Chorus” from Space 29 May 2004 PR No. 5/04 As nature lovers all …