Osamu Motojima and Nagato Yanagi


Feasibility of Artificial Geomagnetic Field Generation by a Superconducting Ring Network

Date of publication:

May 2008

Key words:

geomagnetic field, polarity reversal, artificial geomagnetic field generation, solar radiation, high-temperature superconductor, superconducting cable, superconducting ring network, fusion


The geomagnetic field shields the Earth from a large proportion of incoming radiation, and has thus played a key role in sustaining life on Earth. Paleomagnetic measurements have shown that the geomagnetic field undergoes many reversals of polarity. Continuous observations of the field intensity have revealed a weakening of approximately 10% over the last 150 years. If we assume that this trend indicates the onset of polarity reversal, the geomagnetic field, particularly the dipole component, may weaken sufficiently over the next thousand years to expose the atmosphere and nearby space to significantly increased levels of cosmic and solar radiation. This may have a serious impact on vital infrastructure such as satellites, air traffic, and electricity networks, as well as on global climate changes, indicating that measures should better be taken in an attempt to support the limited protection provided by the remaining higher-order multipole fields and atmosphere. Here we show that a series of planet-encircling superconducting rings can provide an artificial geomagnetic field equivalent to 10% of the present-day field necessary to prevent adverse effects. A feasible system consists of 12 latitudinal high-temperature superconducting rings, each carrying 6.4 MA current with a modest 1 GW of power requirement.

List of NIFS Report (2007)Return toContents Page Return toNIFS Homepage
 National Institute for Fusion Science
Copyright: 1995-2007 National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS)
Address: 322-6,Oroshi-cho, Toki, GIFU, 509-5292, Japan