12.1 ESA LAGRANGE Mission for Enhanced Space Weather Monitoring

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 1:30 PM
205A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Juha-Pekka Luntama, European Space Agency, Darmstadt, Germany; and S. Kraft and A. Glover

European Space Agency (ESA) is developing the LAGRANGE mission to substantially enhance the space weather monitoring capability that we have today. Development of the mission is currently taking place in the framework of ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme. LAGRANGE mission will carry a holistic set of space weather instruments that allow remote sensing of the solar disc, solar corona and heliosphere between the Sun and the Earth. The mission will also carry a set of in-situ instruments providing data about the solar wind, interplanetary magnetic field and solar charged particle flux at L5 point. This mission will be the first dedicated space weather mission in L5 and the first ever deep space mission providing measurement data in Near Real-Time (NRT).

The development of the LAGRANGE mission was started with Phase 0 mission feasibility studies in 2015-2016 during Period 2 of the SSA Programme. The successful feasibility studies paved way to the start of the Phase A/B1 studies for the spacecraft platform and payload instruments in SSA Period 3. A successful Initial System Requirements Review (ISRR) in September 2019 will allow starting the mission Phase B2/C/D phases in 2020, subject to the approval of the mission proposal by ESA Member States in the Space 19+ ministerial level council meeting in November 2019. The objective of ESA is to launch LAGRANGE mission in 2025.

ESA is cooperating with international partners to establish long-term capability for maintaining and enhancing the operational space weather monitoring. For example, ESA and NOAA are planning to agree on responsibilities in space weather monitoring for operational application. NOAA has expressed indication to maintain operational space weather monitoring capability on the Sun-Earth line. This allows ESA to focus on implementing and demonstrating new monitoring capability from L5. An Understanding with NOAA about the cooperation in space weather monitoring was signed in July 2019. An Understanding with NASA for the LAGRANGE mission is in preparation. Collaboration opportunities with other international partners in the framework of the LAGRANGE mission are being discussed.

This presentation will provide an overview of the LAGRANGE mission objectives, payload instruments, expected mission return and ESA’s space weather system development plans over the coming years. The presentation will also address ESA’s plans for developing capability to combine and utilise measurements both from Sun-Earth line and from L5.

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