By Associated Press - Sunday, March 8, 2015

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - A satellite launch from NASA scheduled March 12 will contain instruments constructed or coordinated by University of New Hampshire researchers.

More than half of the key instruments that populate four satellites were worked on for nearly a decade by scientists, engineers and students from UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space.

Each of the four satellites, flying together as a tightly coordinated, pyramid-shaped fleet, will study electromagnetic fields and “space weather” patterns that can impact communication satellites, GPS navigation, and Earth-based power grids.

The scientists want to understand how magnetic explosions work, in part, to predict when they might occur and better protect the technologies modern society relies upon.

UNH was part of a team that built six sensors per spacecraft and something called the “Spin-plane Double Probe” - 192 feet of spaghetti-like, high-tech cable with an orange-sized metallic sphere at the end that will measure electric potential in the vacuum of space.

The launch will be broadcast live on NASA TV:

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