NEWS
01/25/2016 20:10 EST | Updated 01/25/2017 00:12 EST

Canadian Space Agency awards research funds to three universities

CALGARY — Three Canadian universities are sharing $1.4 million in funding from the Canadian Space Agency.

Four awards have been given to the University of Calgary, three to the University of Alberta and one to the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

In a news release, the University of Calgary says the money will allow researchers to continue to lead in near-Earth research on things such as the space weather dynamics that create aurora borealis.

One of the projects will push for answers to questions about how space weather interferes with GPS signals.

The average GPS user doesn't usually see much impact from space weather, but there can be more significant effects in surveying, mapping, hydrography, aviation and military operations.

The university says such space weather disturbances are a bigger problem for Canada than for other countries, because of the country's northerly location.

“This latest CSA support enables University of Calgary researchers, focused on New Earth-Space discovery and development, to continue to lead internationally,” said Ed McCauley, the university's vice-president of research.

“This research is resulting in better sensors and sensor webs for environmental monitoring and Global Navigation Satellite Systems as part of this key research priority.”

The other three University of Calgary projects will focus on the high-energy electrons and other charged particles that rain down into the upper atmosphere during geomagnetic storms.