Space environment physics
Earth's natural magnetic shield
Research into space environment physics at RAL covers a broad range, from the effects of variations in the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field on the terrestrial plasma environment and atmosphere, to the effects of solar variability on Earth's climate and operational systems. It is underpinned by our expertise in multi-spacecraft data analysis, remote sensing of space plasmas and the manipulation of large and long datasets.
Major current themes include the study of the interaction between the solar wind and magnetosphere, by exploitation of the data from the four-spacecraft Cluster mission together with ground-based radars such as EISCAT.
In the future the research will be closely allied to magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models of the inner heliosphere with the aim of predicting radiation hazards for manned space flight beyond the protective shied of Earth's magnetic field.
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