The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a $7.5 million award for the design and development of a sensor that would quantify solar ions or energy particles, Space News reported Friday.
The University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory will produce and test the Supra Thermal Ion Sensor that would measure solar ions and notify operators if these particles generate a shockwave targeting Earth. Davin Larson, the project’s principal investigator, said these shockwaves may disrupt communications links.
The sensor would support NOAA’s Space Weather Follow-On Lagrange-1 mission that aims to provide continued observation-based space weather forecasting in alignment with the existing Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite. The agency’s Office of Projects, Planning and Analysis manages SWFO L-1.