FIGURE 9.15 Composite auroral image constructed from the THEMIS All-sky Imager network. SOURCE: Courtesy of NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio; available at


panel also notes that DOD supports a number of ground-based observatories that contribute significantly to the science objectives outlined above and encourages continued sponsorship of those facilities as well. The panel further supports negotiation of international agreements to enable coordination and collaboration with non-U.S. ground-based capabilities.

SWMI Imperative: Ensure strong multiagency support for a broad range of ground-based assets that are a vital part of magnetospheric science. Laboratory Studies

The SWMI panel endorses the recommendation in the plasma science decadal survey that the Department of Energy be the prime steward for laboratory plasma science. However, to enable research on basic plasma physics that will be of greater utility to SWMI science objectives, the panel supports the creation of an interagency joint laboratory astrophysics program. This program should be competed on a regular basis, include selection criteria that focus on issues relevant to space physics, contain a mechanism for outside investigators to have access to supported facilities, and be open to proposals from any institution.

SWMI Imperative: Create an interagency joint laboratory astrophysics program that addresses issues relevant to space physics.

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