TABLE S.3 Fulfilling the Key Science Goals of the Decadal Survey

 

Advances in Scientific Understanding and Observational Capabilities   Goals

 

Advances owing to implementation of the existing program   Twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes will observe Earth’s radiation belts from separate locations, finally resolving the importance of temporal and spatial variability in the generation and loss of trapped radiation that threatens spacecraft.   2, 4
    The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will provide the first high-resolution, three-dimensional measurements of magnetic reconnection in the magnetosphere by sampling small regions where magnetic field line topologies reform.   2, 4
    Solar Probe Plus will be the first spacecraft to enter the outer atmosphere of the Sun, repeatedly sampling solar coronal particles and fields to understand coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, and the formation and transport of energetic solar particles.   1, 4
    Solar Orbiter will provide the first high-latitude images and spectral observations of the Sun’s magnetic field, flows, and seismic waves, relating changes seen in the corona to local measurements of the resulting solar wind.   1, 4
    The 4-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope will resolve structures as small as 20 km, measuring the dynamics of the magnetic field at the solar surface down to the fundamental density length scale and in the low corona.   1, 4
    The Heliophysics Systems Observatory will gather a broad range of ground- and space-based observations and advance increasingly interdisciplinary and long-term solar and space physics science objectives.   All
New starts on programs and missions to be   The DRIVE initiative will greatly strengthen researchers’ ability to pursue innovative observational, theoretical, numerical, modeling, and technical advances.   All
implemented within the next decade   Solar and space physicists will accomplish high-payoff, timely science goals with a revitalized Explorer program, including leveraged Missions of Opportunity.   All
    The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, in conjunction with the twin Voyager spacecraft, will resolve the interaction between the heliosphere—our home in space—and the interstellar medium.   2, 3, 4
    A new funding line for mid-size projects at the National Science Foundation will facilitate long-recommended ground-based projects, such as COSMO and FASR, by closing the funding gap between large and small programs.   All
New starts on missions to be launched early in the next decade   The Dynamical Neutral Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mission’s two identical orbiting observatories will clarify the complex variability and structure in near-Earth plasma driven by lower-atmosphere wave energy.   2, 4
    The Geospace Dynamics Constellation will provide the first simultaneous, multipoint observations of how the ionosphere-thermosphere system responds to, and regulates, magnetospheric forcing over local and global scales.   2, 4
Possible new start this decade given budget augmentation and/or cost reduction in other missions   The Magnetosphere Energetics, Dynamics, and Ionospheric Coupling Investigation will target complex, coupled, and interconnected multiscale behavior of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system by providing global, high-resolution, continuous three-dimensional images and multipoint in situ measurements of the ring current, plasmasphere, aurora, and ionospheric-thermospheric dynamics.   2, 4

 

EXPECTED BENEFITS OF THE RECOMMENDED PROGRAM

Implementation of the survey committee’s recommended program will ensure that the United States maintains its leadership in solar and space physics and will, the committee believes, lead to significant— even transformative—advances in scientific understanding and observational capabilities (Table S.3). In turn, these advances will support critical national needs for information that can be used to anticipate, recognize, and mitigate space weather effects that threaten human life and the technological systems society depends on.



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