Power Grid at Sunset (C) Andrey Metelev
Power Grid at Sunset (C) Andrey Metelev

The "EuroGIC" project of the European Space Agency (ESA) is concerned with the provision of Europe-wide information on geomagnetically induced currents (GIC).

The Sun’s activity manifests itself as solar flares, radiation storms and coronal mass ejections. When these are directed at Earth, they drive geomagnetic storms that can cause a range of impacts of varying severity, depending on location, including disruption to terrestrial, maritime and space systems. Geomagnetic storms are rapid changes in the Earth’s magnetic field that generate strong currents in long and conductive infrastructures such as powerlines and railway tracks.

GeoSphere Austria has joined the EuroGIC consortium to support power grid operators by developing a web application that models geomagnetically induced currents in near-real time using data from existing stations across Europe that measure the Earth's magnetic field. The web application will be integrated into ESA's space weather portal and will be available to power grid operators to assess the risk to their transformers and ultimately avoid power outages.

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