UNH Gets $6M to Build Space Weather Sensor for NASA Sun Satellite | New Hampshire Public Radio

UNH Gets $6M to Build Space Weather Sensor for NASA Sun Satellite

Apr 23, 2020

A European Space Agency graphic shows points at which the new NASA solar satellite may be positioned.
Credit ESA

The University of New Hampshire has won a $6-million-dollar federal contract to build a space weather sensor for a satellite that will orbit the Sun.

The instrument, called a magnetometer, will help monitor the sun’s outer atmosphere or “corona.” This generates solar wind and can create storms, according to a UNH press release.

UNH says these can interfere with satellite communications and electric grids on Earth. The sensor will help generate advance storm warnings for affected industries.

The sensor, commissioned by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will launch with the new solar satellite in 2024. UNH is working with the Southwest Research Institute on the project.

UNH researchers are also involved with another instrument that's part of that probe. That device will study the edges of the solar system.