models such as would be needed by SRAG. The importance of developing operational models for nowcast or forecast purposes has been recognized by the National Space Weather Program (NSWP), but as yet only limited progress has been made, mainly by NOAA's RPC.
There are major programs at NASA that require an accurate knowledge of Earth's radiation environment. The kind of knowledge required varies from program to program, but the range of knowledge needed extends from the basic science, the physical processes, and the generation mechanisms of the radiation belts and particle events, to net integrated radiation doses averaged over a long period of time. The trend in recent years at NASA has been to smaller and cheaper spacecraft with smaller instruments, more onboard data processing, and increased use of microelectronics. For these and other reasons, the working knowledge of Earth's radiation environment (models, forecasts of particle events and disturbances, integrated doses, etc.) should be improved to address current planning and development requirements in just about every area of NASA activity. A better understanding of the radiation environment, which can come from programs within NASA, would be a great advantage to other NASA projects in science, engineering, technology, and the human spaceflight program. CSSP/CSTR believes the enormous complementary strength in personnel and resources at the different NASA centers should be utilized synergistically to support the needs of both the manned and unmanned programs for information on the space radiation environment.
Recommendation 6: To coordinate intra-NASA activities and concerns in radiation, NASA should establish an agency-level radiation plan and task force. It should also establish a multidisciplinary steering committee to advise the task force.
For greatest effect, the radiation plan should be developed under the leadership of headquarters and with approval of the NASA administrator. The envisioned task force, which could be a revitalized version of the existing radiation coordinating team, would be responsible for managing the radiation plan. CSSP/CSTR suggests that a number of elements be incorporated when implementing this recommendation. The task force would operate across codes. It would report to appropriate high-ranking officials in several offices at NASA headquarters (at the associate administrator level and appropriate program directors or managers). It would prepare an annual report and would be co-led by two or more NASA centers.
CSSP/CSTR suggests that MSFC and JSC be among the centers taking the lead. MSFC is managing the SEE program. JSC is responsible for safeguarding humans in space. CSSP/CSTR suggests that the steering committee be appointed by headquarters and that it have a rotating membership, ensuring representation from other agencies, universities, and industry. It is important that there be representatives on the task force from GSFC and JPL. GSFC representation is important because Goddard has strength in the basic science underlying space radiation, which is crucial for developing and implementing models and designs. For example, the National Space Science Data Center at Goddard could evaluate the scientific merits and inadequacies of current scientific and engineering models and databases. JPL's presence on the task force is needed because JPL is the lead center for deep space missions and so should take part in policy and program developments that involve the interplanetary environment. Also, it has played an important role in developing models of space radiation and space storms.