In its report, the survey committee’s recommendations are prioritized and fit to anticipated budgets, which appear likely to be highly constrained for the foreseeable future. However, recognizing the importance of crafting a resilient program, the survey’s authors also provide “decision rules” to guide programmatic changes, should they become necessary, in response to budget shortfalls or other unanticipated challenges.
In making its recommendations, the committee was guided by the following principles:
- To make transformational scientific progress, the Sun, Earth, and heliosphere must be studied as a coupled system;
- To understand the coupled system requires that each subdiscipline be able to make measurable advances in achieving its key scientific goals; and
- Success across the entire field requires that the various elements of solar and space physics research programs—the enabling foundation comprising theory, modeling, data analysis, innovation, and education, as well as ground-based facilities and small-, medium-, and large-class space missions—be deployed with careful attention to both the mix of assets and to the schedule (cadence) that optimizes their utility over time.
Tables 1 and 2 summarize the top-level recommendations of the decadal survey and indicate the agencies with primary responsibility for implementation. Although NASA and NSF were the sponsors of the decadal survey, it was conducted with the support of NOAA and the DoD. For further explanation of the recommendations and for full details on the recommended program and its implementation, please download the full report at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13060.
TABLE 1 summary of top-Level Decadal survey research recommendations
|1.0||Complete the current program||X||X|
Implement the DRIVE initiative Small satellites; midscale NSF projects; vigorous ATST and synoptic program support; science centers and grant programs; instrument development
Accelerate and expand the Heliophysics Explorer program Enable MIDEX line and Missions of Opportunity
|4.0||Restructure STP as a moderate-scale, PI-led line||X|
|4.1||Implement an IMAP-like mission||X|
|4.2||Implement a DYNAMIC-like mission||X|
|4.3||Implement a MEDICI-like mission||X|
|5.0||Implement a large LWS GDC-like mission||X|
TABLE 2 summary of top-Level Decadal survey Applications recommendations
|1.0||Recharter the National Space Weather Program||X||X||X|
|2.0||Work in a multiagency partnership to achieve continuity of solar and solar wind observations||X||X||X|
|2.1||Continue solar wind observations from L1 (DSCOVR, IMAP)||X||X|
|2.2||Continue space-based coronagraph and solar magnetic field measurements||X||X|
|2.3||Evaluate new observations, platforms, and locations||X||X||X|
Establish a space weather research program at NOAA to effectively transition research to operations
Develop and maintain distinct funding lines for basic space physics research and for space weather specification and forecasting
Adapted from Tables S.1 and S.2 from Solar and Space Physics (2013), with the research recommendations renumbered.