Solar Storms: Disruptions To Technology & Risks To The Economy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Capitol Visitors Center - HVC 200
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Invitation Flyer

In Cooperation with the Senate Science and Technology Caucus - Co-Chairs: Senators Lamar Alexander and Mark Udall and the Congressional Hazards Caucus - Co-Chairs: Senators Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski, and Ben Nelson and Representative Zoe Lofgren

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. Join us for this lunch briefing to learn about 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.



Jon Malay, President, American Meteorological Society, Director, Civil Space and Environment, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Opening Remarks: 

The Honorable Jared Polis, U.S. House of Representatives, Second District of Colorado
The Honorable Kathryn Sullivan, Deputy Administrator, NOAA, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction


Joan Burkepile, Scientist, High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Captain Rocky Stone, Chief Technical Pilot, United Airlines

Ron Hatch, Director of Navigation Systems, NavComTechnology/John Deere

Elizabeth Zimmerman, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency