Operational Solar Monitoring and Warning Requirements

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D. Wade (2011), JBIS, 64, 319-324

Refcode: 2011.64.319
Keywords: Space insurance, space weather, forecasting, risks

This paper considers the implications of space weather from an insurance perspective. Space insurance is the third largest cost for any commercial satellite project after the cost of the satellite itself and the launch service. Satellite operators purchase insurance to cover the cost of their space asset against the risks that may befall the satellite. Such risks include a failed launch, mechanical failure, electrical breakdown, debris strike and the effect of space weather. Space weather can have an effect on terrestrial infrastructure too, degrading operations which rely on accurate navigation and timing, communications and the distribution of electricity, oil and gas.

Not all insurance policies will provide coverage for space weather effects. Within this paper, the purpose of insurance is considered, as well as the way in which insurance responds to space weather events. Consideration is also given to the role of forecasting of space weather events from an insurance perspective as well as how space weather, as a source of space insurance claims, compares to other factors that cause claims on satellites. Finally, a view of some of the perils that face the commercial space sector in the years ahead are offered.

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