• assess the fiscal context in which ground-based solar research will be pursued in the coming decade and beyond, including anticipated resources from federal and nonfederal sources;

  • advise on ground-based solar astronomy strategies and priorities in light of expectations about future budgetary and other resources;

  • evaluate, within the context above, the posture of solar observatories (including especially the mission of the National Solar Observatory) and define their optimal role relative to solar research programs in universities, industry, and other federally-funded centers. This review will take into account both the primary missions as well as the research and educational roles of the various organizations;

  • consider whether the current approach for the management of the NSO, as a component of NSF's National Optical Astronomy Observatories, best serves the research community; if not, to suggest and evaluate alternative arrangements that could result in a healthier field; and

  • assess whether projected capabilities will be adequate to execute the requisite program of ground-based solar research, including the ground-based component of solar physics space missions (e.g., Yohkoh, SOHO, and later, TRACE and SXI); suborbital investigations (e.g., Flare Genesis balloon flights, SPARTAN Shuttle flights); and solar-terrestrial investigations (e.g., NASA's GGS, NSF's GEM, CEDAR), including the interagency National Space Weather Program.



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