This course studies the solar-terrestrial space environment and its importance for utilization of space. Topics include the solar cycle and magnetic dynamo; the electrodynamics of the solar upper atmosphere responsible for the solar wind; and the solar wind interaction with unmagnetized and magnetized bodies that leads to the treatment of ionospheres, planetary bow shocks, comets, and magnetospheres. Practical issues include penetrating radiation and its effects on spacecraft and man in space, catastrophic discharge phenomena, dust and hypervelocity impacts, material degradation by sputtering and reactive ionospheric constituents, atmospheric heating and orbital drag effects on satellites, and magnetospheric storm disruptions of ground power distribution.

Course prerequisite(s): 

615.642 Electromagnetics or the equivalent.

Course instructor(s): 

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