The National Space Weather Program

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 1:30 PM
B303 (GWCC)
Samuel P. Williamson, Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology, Silver Spring, MD; and M. F. Bonadonna and M. R. Babcock

Presentation PDF (44.8 kB)

The 2008 National Research Council workshop report on severe space weather events heralded wider public understanding of the societal and economic impacts of space weather and the value of interagency coordination to improve services and knowledge. This interagency coordination is accomplished through the National Space Weather Program (NSWP), a U.S. federal government initiative sponsored by the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research. The NSWP Council, through its Committee for Space Weather and Committee for Space Environment Sensor Mitigation Options, seeks to speed improvement of space weather products and services through research, transition of research to operations, and improvements in operational capability to better prepare the United States for the effects of space weather on technological systems, activities, and human health. In 2009, the Council organized and hosted the third Space Weather Enterprise Forum, drawing more than 240 international attendees from government, industry, academia, and the public. The forum provided a venue to explore strategic partnering, facilitate scientific advances and transition of research to operations, and to continue education and outreach. It also gathered actionable information to move the enterprise forward, particularly by illuminating user needs, requirements, and priorities to inform a new strategic plan. Key takeaways included improving communication with the public, closing seams at the interfaces between specialties and regions of atmosphere and space, ensuring operations feedback to researchers, and applying test bed approaches for moving research to operations. The forum also supported a coordinated approach to sustain solar wind monitoring and low Earth orbit space environment sensing. To address this area, the Council led development of options and recommendations presented to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy to maintain continuity of solar wind measurements from the L1 Lagrange point and to mitigate reduced capability now planned for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System. The study engaged more than 75 people from 19 government offices to develop a set of consensus recommendations. In 2010, the Council plans to complete a new NSWP strategic plan, host the next enterprise forum, continue to advance the goals of the NSWP, and raise awareness of space weather effects on society.