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Q&A

What are the Ground Effects of the South Atlantic Anomaly?

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Picture of Earth's Magnetic Field, with South Atlantic Anomaly over Continental South America Hilighted

I was recently introduced to the South Atlantic Anomaly. As I understand, for satellites and space craft, this is a natural feature that can wreck space craft by taking even computers designed for the rigor of space and knocking them offline.

What I'm curious about, and can't seem to find an answer for, is the ground effects of this anomaly.

I would think, at a minimum, that there might be some impact to navigation

  • if satellites are taken down by this field, can you get enough GPS satellites for GPS nav?
  • are aircraft radios effected?
  • do magnetic compasses work normally?

Are electronics on the ground effected? Radio? Are there any optical anomalies (like the northern and southern lights, but opposite in nature)?

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