89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 11:15 AM
NSF and new opportunities in space weather
Room 126BC (Phoenix Convention Center)
Timothy L. Killeen, NSF, Arlington, VA; and R. Behnke
The goal of Geospace research at NSF is to enable the understanding of space science that is most relevant to life on Earth. In the near future, not only will space exploration and tourism expose humans directly to the space environment, but technological systems will increasingly operate in space and/or be affected by physical processes that take place in the Sun-Earth system. At the same time, space serves as a laboratory in which to probe basic plasma physics processes that are otherwise inaccessible to experimental investigations. Space weather is now an accepted term describing the interdisciplinary study of the Sun -Earth system that can influence the performance and reliability of our technological systems and can endanger human life or health. Many of the most important and intriguing phenomena at the Sun and in the Earth space environment cannot yet be fully explained or adequately predicted. Progress requires advances in both in-depth understanding of basic space plasma physics questions and in the integration of the physical processes involved over a vast variety of temporal and physical scales. This knowledge has to be effectively incorporated into coherent, internally-consistent global models. This talk will focus on some of the ways NSF supports the potentially transformative science and the advanced models needed to understand the Geospace environment. Emerging research opportunities enabled by advanced lidars and imagers, cutting-edge solid-state ionospheric radars, new optical and radio solar telescopes, and small satellite technologies will help direct future NSF investments.

Supplementary URL: