Solar Storms: Disruptions to Technology & Risks to the Economy


June 22, 2011, 11:00 AM – 12:40 PM
HVC 200 Capitol Visitors Center

Storms exploding off the surface of the sun can wreak havoc on technologies like satellites, phones, GPS, and electrical power grids. As society’s dependence on these technologies grows, so does our vulnerability to changes on the Sun and in space. For example, GPS is present in almost all aspects of our economy and society and is critical to highway traffic management, aviation and maritime navigation, energy distribution, national security, emergency response, banking, etc. The worldwide GPS market is expected to total $75 billion by 2013. Meanwhile, the Sun is approaching a heightened period of activity that will last for several years.

Watch panelists discuss the state of the science, the potential effects of space weather on businesses and society, the timing of the coming “Solar Max” (the period of greatest solar activity), and the policy options that are available for alleviating negative impacts and building resilience.

The videos on this page are courtesy of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Visit UCAR’s Hill Events web page for more information on this briefing and other UCAR hill events.



Jon Malay President American Meteorological Society and Director Civil Space & Environment Lockheed Martin Corporation Introductory Presentation Bio Watch Video

The Honorable Jared Polis (D-Colorado) Bio Watch Video

The Honorable Kathy Sullivan Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator NOAA Bio Watch Video

Opening Remarks


Joan Burkepile Scientist, High Altitude Observatory National Center for Atmospheric Research Presentation Slides Bio Watch Video


Captain Rocky Stone Chief Technical Pilot United Airlines Presentation Slides Bio Watch Video


Ron Hatch Director of Navigation Systems NavCom Technology/John Deere Presentation Slides Bio Watch Video

Elizabeth Zimmerman Deputy Associate Administrator Office of Response and Recovery FEMA Presentation Slides Bio Watch Video


Related Content

American Meteorological Society

  • The Space Weather Prediction Center
  • A Primer on Space Weather
  • Space Weather Prediction Center Education and Outreach Resources
  • Space Weather Enterprise Forum

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration