The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has partnered with Xplore on a project to examine the potential of commercial spacecraft to monitor the sun from the first Lagrangian point.
Xplore said Wednesday it will study the feasibility of an Xcraft observatory mission at the L1 location approximately one million miles from Earth to detect solar activity that may affect the performance of telecommunication and power grid systems.
“We applaud NOAA's continued efforts to engage with industry.” said Lisa Rich, founder and chief operating officer of Xplore.
Rich added that the company seeks to help the agency create a pathway to commercial solar observatory and space weather platforms through the feasibility study.
“Advanced warning of solar storms enables us to take precautionary measures and mitigate the severity of impacts to our grid system, protect our infrastructure and limit costly damage and outages,“ said Tamitha Skov, a space weather forecaster.
L1 is the neutral point of gravity between the sun and Earth. NASA and the European Space Agency operate multiple solar observatories that have continuously orbited the Lagrange point since 1978.