Open Access

The total failures of GPS functioning caused by the powerful solar radio burst on December 13, 2006

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352940

Received: 23 October 2007

Accepted: 21 August 2008

Published: 29 May 2009


We investigated failures in the GPS performance produced by extremely dense solar radio burst fluxes associated with the intense (X3.4 in GOES classification) solar flare and Halo CME recorded by SOHO/LASCO on December 13, 2006. According to substantial experimental evidence, high-precision GPS positioning on the entire sunlit side of the Earth was partially disrupted for more than 12–15 min; the high level of GPS slips resulted from the wideband solar radio noise emission. Our results are in agreement with the data obtained recently for the extreme solar radio burst on December 6, 2006, and provide a sound basis for revising the role of space weather factors in the functioning of state-of-the-art satellite systems and for taking a more thorough account of these factors in their development and operation.

Key words

Solar flares solar radio emission GPS GLONASS GALILEO