Impact Of Space Weather On Aviation

Global Aviator|June 2020

Impact Of Space Weather On Aviation
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) charged to monitor the Space Weather Regional Warning facility for Africa, functions from Hermanus in the Western Cape under the auspices of the International Space Environment Service (ISES)

The coastal village of Hermanus, 120 kilometers east of Cape Town is known to be the choice venue for whale watchers enjoying the natural antics of the Southern right whales.

What is not well known however, is that Hermanus is also a magnetically clean town, where there is no heavy industry, and no electric loco railway lines in the vicinity of the town and no surrounding high voltage overhead power lines to affect the magnetic purity of this unique town. In addition, the geological structure of Hermanus consists of nonmagnetic Table Mountain sandstone.

The result of this magnetic purity means Hermanus is also the home for Africa’s only “Space Weather Regional Warning Centre” which is one of two regional warning centres selected by ICAO to provide space weather information to the global aviation sector.

The road trip from Cape Town to SANSA in Hermanus departs the N2 highway beyond the town of Grabouw. Following further directions by the GPS co-ordinates from Cape Town terminates the journey exactly at the entrance of the SANSA facility.

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June 2020