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OCR for page 237

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- Background: The last integrated strategy for solar and space physics was released by the NRC in 1995. Since that time, there have been dramatic scientific de- velopments and a sign if icant evol ution i n relevant fed- eral programs. In the space arena these developments stem from the launches and successful operation of the Wind, Geotail, SOHO, Polar, FAST, ACE, TRACE, IM- AGE, and Cluster-ll missions. These missions have helped revolutionize solar physics, provide a new level of understanding of important processes in space plasma physics, and create a new basis for characterizing and predicting space weather. Over the same period, the relevant federal agencies have taken steps to build on the new level of scientific progress by embarking on new efforts such as the National Space Weather Pro- gram, the Relocatable Radar (formerly the Polar Cap Observatory), and Living With a Star. Furthermore, the NSF Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) program has initiated its second and third campaigns, the inter- national Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (Suner- DARN) has established effective collaboration among a large number of high frequency radar programs; and the community-wide Solar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment (SHINE) initiative has spawned a number of important activities related to the National Space Weather Program. As a consequence of all these devel- opments, the preparation of a comprehensive scientific assessment and strategy for the field of solar and space physics that looks across the interests of all agencies, both ground- and space-based, is especially timely. Plan: The study will be organized in a manner simi- lar to the decadal survey that is regularly conducted by the astronomy and astrophysics community. The Com- mittee on Solar and Space Physics (CSSP) will establish a 14-person survey committee to carry out the study with input from five panels, each of which will have approximately 10 members. Most CSSP members will serve either on the survey committee or the panels, with additional membership drawn from the relevant research . . communities. The study will generate consensus recommenda- tions from the solar and space physics community re- garding a systems approach to theoretical, ground-based and space-based research that encompasses the flight programs and focused campaigns of NASA, the ground- based and basic research programs of NSF and the . , , . . ~ , . . complementary operational programs at other agencies such as NOAA, DOD, and DOE. During this study, the community will survey solar and space physics and rec- ommend priorities for the decade 2003-2013. Attention will be given to effective implementation of proposed and existing programs and to the human resource as- pects of the field involving education, career opportuni- ties, and public outreach. Promising areas for the devel- opment of new technologies will be suggested. A minor but important part of the study will be the review of complementary i n itiatives of other nations i n order to identify potential cooperative programs. An important aspect of the study's consideration of operational programs will be an assessment of how the research programs of NASA and NSF can serve both to provide the operational tools of agencies such as NOAA and DOD and to provide training for future expert staff for those agencies. The study will consider how the sci- ence of solar and space physics can lead to new forecast tools and products that have the potential of making the 239

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240 space weather program more operational, and it will identify appropriate next steps to accomplish the transi- tion from research to operations. Three of the five panels will be organized around interdisciplinary science themes: magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere i nterac- tions, solar-wind magnetosphere interactions, and sol ar and hel iospheric physics. Each of these panels will consider theory and com- putation as well as ground-based and space-based re- search. The first two panels will cover both terrestrial and planetary objectives. The three science panels wi 11 (1 998~. be complemented by two cross-d~sc~pl~nary panels: theory, computation, and data exploration and education and society. The survey committee will be responsible for pre- paring a summary report. The reports of the study panels along with the summary report will be published by the National Research Council. One important goal of these reports is to address the scientific foundation and priori- 19971. ties for the implementation of major NASA programs THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS such as Living With a Star, Solar-Terrestrial Probes, Solar Probe, and Interstellar Probe and major NSF facilities such as the Relocatable Radar. In conducting its work, the CSSP would draw on an extensive history of prior studies performed by the Space Studies Board, including Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millen- nium (Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Report) and Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium: Pane/ Reports (2000~. (Survey and panel reports are joint projects of the SSB and the NRC Board on Astronomy and Astrophysics.) Readiness for the Upcoming Solar Maximum Ground-Based Solar Research: An Assessment and Strategy for the Future (1998~. Scientific Assessment of NASA's SMEX and MIDEX Space Physics Mission Selections (1 9971. An Assessment of the Solar and Space Physics Aspects of NASA's Space Science Enterprise Strategic Plan (1 997~. Space Weather: A Research Briefing (Web report, A Science Strategy for Space Physics (19951.