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Archive of IRDR News

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Increasing Impact with the UCL IRDR International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

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The International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR), an award-winning academic journal founded in 2012 by Professor David Alexander of UCL-IRDR in association with Elsevier publishers, has just received its latest impact factor (IF). The IF of a journal is a measure of the frequency with which an average article in that journal has been cited within a given time period, and is used to rank publications. At 1.603, the IF has inceased by almost a quarter on last year's value and this puts the IJDRR up among the best of the many hazards and disasters journals.

An Era Defining Mission: NASA’s Solar Probe Plus to Predict Solar Storms

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Dr Robert Wicks, UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, explains to BBC World News viewers how NASA’s next solar mission will help aid scientific understanding of solar activity and enable astronomers to better predict solar storms. Solar flares launch radiation and matter outwards compressing the earth’s magnetic field and can cause, amongst other things, radio interference and power failures.

UCL Build and Launch Cube Satellites

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Last week saw the deployment of 28 CubeSats from the International Space Station as part of the QB50 mission. UCL IRDR Lecturer Dr Robert Wicks is the project manager of the nine UCL scientific instruments flying on this mission. The Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS), designed and built at UCL, measures the concentrations of Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Nitrous Oxide ions in the thermosphere, the top layer of the atmosphere, as the CubeSats descend from a 400km altitude until they are destroyed at an altitude of around 200km. These will form the first measurements of atmospheric composition from satellites at these altitudes, and will provide our first ever look at the transport of these ions around the world. Ions of Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Nitrous Oxide are generated near the North and South poles by the aurora and are then transported around the globe by very high-altitude winds. Tracking how these molecules move around in the thermosphere will help us to understand the chemistry and weather in the top layer of the atmosphere, and enable us to better predict atmospheric drag on satellites and the impact of space weather on the atmosphere.

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