NSF and space weather today

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 11:30 AM
B303 (GWCC)
Timothy L. Killeen, NSF, Arlington, VA; and R. A. Behnke

The National Science Foundation is continuing its strong contributions to all space weather activities. In research, targeted space weather funding from NSF has produced new results that have been effectively implemented to improve modeling capabilities. In particular, new research results are revealing subtle linkages between space weather domains demonstrating unexpected coupling mechanisms and physical processes. Modeling efforts are continuing at the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling and at other institutions, including those supported through the NASA/NSF Strategic Partnership initiative. NSF continues support for the Community Coordinated Modeling Center to provide researchers access to space weather models and to facilitate transition of models to operations. NSF has made tremendous progress in space weather observations through support of an expansion of the SuperDARN network, funding of the AMPERE project to enhance magnetic field measurements on the Iridium satellites, and a new start for construction of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii. In addition, GPS occultation data from the COSMIC constellation is being used to validate techniques for space-based remote sensing of ionospheric electron density on a global basis. The newest investment NSF is making to space weather observations is in support of cubesat projects. By the end of 2009, NSF expects six cubesat projects to be underway, with the first launch early in 2010. Not only can cubesats enable new space weather observations, they also represent an excellent means for training the next generation of experts in space instrumentation. These are just some of the ways NSF supports the potentially transformative science and the advanced models needed to understand space weather and its effects on the Geospace environment.