16.3 ngGONG (Next Generation GONG)—A Ground-Based Solar Observing Network Optimized for Space Weather Research and Operations

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 4:00 PM
205A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Frank Hill, National Solar Observatory, Boulder, CO; and V. M. Pillet, A. de Wijn, J. Burkepile, and S. McIntosh

Space weather originates at the Sun, so continual solar observations are essential for both operational forecasts and research into the underlying physical processes. The ability of a geographically distributed network of ground-based solar observational instruments to provide the required coverage has been amply demonstrated by GONG (Global Oscillation Network Group), a set of six systems operated by the National Solar Observatory. GONG solar magnetic field data are now inputs for the NOAA/SWPC geomagnetic storm forecasts based on WSA and Enlil propagation models; the USAF 557th Weather Wing forecasts; the NASA CCMC testbed, and the UK Met Bureau predictions. However, GONG was designed for helioseismology rather than solar magnetometry and thus there are some deficiencies in the GONG magnetograms, most importantly the zero-point of the magnetic field is not measured and must be inferred from inter-site comparisons. We are developing a new network with instrumentation that would be optimized for space weather data needs, in particular a magnetograph with high stability, low noise, and a low, spatially constant zero point. ngGONG would also house a multi-height Doppler imager for helioseismology, full-disk imagers in a variety of wavelengths, and coronagraphs. We are currently developing the scientific and operational requirements for ngGONG, and working towards an inter-agency organization to develop, construct, and operate the system.
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