UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


New guidelines on organisational resilience for severe space weather and GNSS failures

6 January 2020

Two new open access guideline documents on organisational resilience for severe space weather and global navigation satellite service failures (GNSS) have been published by UCL.

UCL’s Mullard Space Laboratory and Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction have released two operational reports that lay out guidelines for assessing and identifying organisational mitigation strategies to help prepare for space weather events, including global navigation satellite service failures and their associated technological disruptions. 

The guidelines are the result of a collaboration between academics and practitioners, and they aim to provide an overview of the topic as well as practical actions for maintaining operational continuity. The reports have been structured to facilitate ease of reading in conditions of limited time availability, supporting the work of resilience officers, emergency planners and business continuity managers in public utility services, local authorities and the private sector. The two reports are open access and available online via UCL discovery:

1) Organisational Resilience for Severe Space Weather

This report introduces severe space weather events and their possible impacts, including a process for assessing risk and a discussion of vulnerabilities that are common with other threats. Illustrative examples and an operational checklist for continuity planning and management are included. 

Free to download at: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076567/

2) Cascading effects of global positioning and navigation satellite service failures

This report discusses the challenges around coping with the impacts of global navigation satellite service failures (GNSS) and lays out guidance to help improve organisational resilience to such events. The guidelines include the description of which dependencies and which cascading effects could be triggered with consequences to business as usual. Practical actions and compliance with ISO standards are also discussed.  

Free to download at: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076568/

The reports are the output of the project 'Building space weather resilience in sustainable cities’ led by Prof. Lucie Green in collaboration with Dr. Robert wicks and Dr. Gianluca Pescaroli, and funded by UCL's Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Funds. The project included the development of two workshops and tabletop exercises that helped understand stakeholders' training needs and space weather scenario awareness, and involved colleagues from London's Local Authorities, public utilities and the public and private sectors.

Dr. Santosh Bhattarai shared insights on the vulnerabilities of satellite systems. The essential collaboration of Mr. Stuart Turner, head of emergency management Head of Emergency Management at London borough of Ealing, helped to maintain the practical output and accessibility of the documents.