(NSWP);1 the Department of Defense (DOD), in particular the Air Force, which has its own space environment monitoring and research program in support of DOD, and the Navy, which historically has been a major participant in solar and ionospheric research; and the Department of Energy (DOE), whose support of space activities related to defense and other national security needs includes a group at Los Alamos National Laboratory that analyzes aspects of the the space environment that affect national security.

The report begins with a brief description of the considerations that led to this assessment, followed by summaries of each agency 's activities and programs, including any special plans adopted in anticipation of the solar maximum. These descriptions were drawn in part from information obtained during agency briefings for the CSSP/CSTR at their February 26-28, 1997, meeting in Washington, D.C. It then offers an assessment of these various programs regarding their optimal use of national resources to both learn from and protect against the events of the rapidly approaching solar maximum. It concludes with recommendations regarding important additional benefits that could be derived, in many cases with existing resources or minimal additional investment.


The committees' review of agency activities does not include an assessment of the current capabilities and future options for ground-based optical and radio solar observatories. In particular, the present report does not make recommendations related to the NSF-funded National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, and Kitt Peak, Arizona. Such an assessment is being performed as part of an ongoing National Research Council study by the Space Studies Board's Task Group on Ground-based Solar Research (TGGSR).

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