agencies have not identified a common goal, nor have they adopted a standard approach for funding and implementing data facilities and archives.

Current modeling centers, such as the CCMC, have multiple sponsors and allow researchers to run simulations using community-provided models that cover vastly different domains, such as the solar corona, the solar wind, the radiation environment in the heliosphere and Earth’s radiation belts, and the magnetic and electric field environments of the magnetosphere and ionosphere. Although some space weather modeling groups have developed end-to-end models, often the component modules employ controversial techniques and are based on assumptions with inherent strengths and weaknesses. Only a small fraction of all models can be run interactively, and even fewer can be coupled. This makes it difficult to validate different models and to model interesting space weather events.

Future Goals and Directions

Heliophysics is poised to make a natural transition from being driven predominantly by the pursuit of basic scientific understanding of physical processes toward one that must also address more operational, application-specific needs, much like terrestrial weather forecasting. This transition requires (1) instant unfettered access to a wide array of data sets from distributed sources in a uniform, standardized format, (2) incorporation of the results of community-developed models, and (3) the ability to perform simulations interactively and to couple different models to track ongoing space weather events.

NASA has already taken the important first step in integrating many of these data sets and tools to form the HPDE. The main objective of the HPDE is to implement a distributed, integrated, flexible data environment. HPDE modeling centers should serve as a sound foundation for a future, fully integrated heliophysics data and modeling center.

The key ingredients necessary for any successful centralized data and modeling environment are (1) full involvement of data providers, (2) rapid, open access to scientifically validated data, (3) peer-reviewed data systems driven by community needs and standards, (4) coordinated, user-friendly analysis tools, (5) reliable high-performance computing facilities and data storage, (6) uniform terminology and adequate documentation describing data products and sources, (7) flexible, interoperable, and interconnected data archives, modeling centers, and VxOs, and (8) effective communication among data providers, national and international partners, and data users.

The tremendous quantity of heliophysics data that will become available in the next decade will strain the financial, personnel, hardware, and software resources available to individual scientists, teams, and even national agencies. The dramatic advances in computing and data storage technology over the past decade are likely to continue, so the cost of future data systems and modeling centers will be dominated by personnel and software development rather than securing ultrafast computing or data storage. To achieve these goals efficiently, the national agencies will need to develop a common approach for funding data facilities, archives, modeling centers, and VxOs and coordinate the development of data systems infrastructure, including the development of data systems software, data analysis tools, and training for personnel.

Opportunities in New Data Systems

Community Input to and Control of the Integrated Data Environment

A number of virtual observatory and other data identification and access tools have appeared or are under development. These efforts could be strengthened, better focused, and more efficiently managed if more user feedback were incorporated into their governance, perhaps by formalizing community oversight

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