Professor Mitchell in the University’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering addressed the AGM attendees which included HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and gave a speech on Space Weather and Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

Cathryn Mitchell is currently the recipient of a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship in Space Weather.

Space Weather is the harsh environment of electromagnetic radiation and magnetic fields emitted from the Sun and adversely affecting our technology such as satellites, radio signals, and in large solar storms causing problems for our power grid.

The most familiar Space Weather event is the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. This spectacular and beautiful phenomenon occurs when the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Satellite navigation is an increasingly important technology that is used for a huge number of engineering systems in fields such as aviation, shipping, agriculture etc. The reliability of Satnav is affected by Space Weather highlight the need to design robust systems and to risk access the entire system to ensure continuity of service or timely warning of service outages caused by solar storms.

Professor Mitchell said: “It was an honour to speak to the Royal Institute of Navigation about Space Weather and Global Satellite Navigation Systems.

“Meeting HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and speaking with fellows and guests afterwards at the reception was a real privilege.”