UNH to Develop Magnetometers to Monitor Space Weather

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) been awarded a $6 million contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a device for the NOAA/NASA Space Weather Follow On Lagrange 1 mission.

Collaborating with the Southwest Research Institute in Texas, UNH will build magnetometers to measure magnetic fields in space. The magnetometers will measure and predict geomagnetic storms caused by the geomagnetic field of the sun. These storms can cause problems with the electric grid, telecommunications, and satellite and spacecraft operations.

“This project will build on UNH’s legacy of magnetic sensor design and its success with electronics instrumentation from recent NASA projects like the MMS mission,” said Roy Torbert, principal investigator of the magnetometer portion of the project. “With this magnetometer, we’ll be able to measure how the Earth’s magnetic field is impeded by the solar wind which will help support NOAA’s mission to monitor and forecast space weather events that can influence the performance of technology such as electrical power grids, satellite-based communication and navigation systems.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen praised the university’s leadership in technological research.  “This contract underscores the cutting-edge manufacturing and research conducted at UNH that have long put New Hampshire on the map as a leader in technological innovation,” she said.

NEC congratulates UNH on this achievement and wishes the researchers much success in this important work. Read more in Seacoast Online.

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