Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 4:45 PM
4C-1 (Washington State Convention Center)
Monitoring the near-earth environment is essential for protection of space assets and their capabilities from extremes in space weather. Particle radiation impacts military communication, navigation, aviation and spacecraft operations, as these systems may be vulnerable to high energy particles. Using in situ high energy particle sensors allow modeling of the earth environmental response to solar activity and provide space weather predictions for satellite protection and management - from possible planning of satellite maneuvers to shutting down on-board systems and sensors to avoid damage. Additionally, knowledge of the particle environment constrains engineering design of satellites for survivability and allows sensor data to be corrected for contamination by particle fluxes. Synergism with UV and V is remote sensing of atmospheric disturbances (e.g. aurora) allows calibration checks of the electro-optical sensors and independent input to atmospheric models. The Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS), the follow-on DoD program to the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), will fly the Space Environment Monitor Next (SEM-N) for detection of such space particles. SEM-N is a suite of sensors based on heritage particle sensors flying on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) system for the DoD and DOC/NOAA, respectively, and on NASA planetary research missions. The sensor suite will provide space particle data continuity for DMSP and POES. This paper will focus on the performance capabilities of SEM-N for space weather forecasting, for early warning to protect military assets in space and on the ground, and to provide effective operational planning.
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