1.3 NSF and Space Weather for the Future

Monday, 24 January 2011: 11:45 AM
4C-3 (Washington State Convention Center)
Richard Behnke, NSF, Arlington, VA

The National Science Foundation is maintaining a broad-based approach to address space weather priorities. In research, targeted space weather funding from NSF continues to advance knowledge of space weather processes leading to improved modeling capabilities. In particular, new research is illuminating the coupling processes between space weather domains, demonstrating unanticipated linkages between observed phenomena in the Sun-Earth system. Tremendous progress has been made in physics-based models being developed by the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling and at other institutions, including those supported through the NASA/NSF Strategic Partnership initiative. NSF continues to support the Community Coordinated Modeling Center to provide researchers access to space weather models and to facilitate transition of models to operations. NSF has made exciting progress in space weather observations through support of an expansion of the SuperDARN network to mid-latitudes and of the AMPERE project to acquire global magnetic field measurements from the Iridium satellites. 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. Construction will begin soon on the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii, which will provide measurements of the solar disk with unprecedented resolution. The newest investment NSF is making to space weather observations is in support of cubesat projects. Currently, 6 cubesat projects are underway and the first launch is expected by the end of 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.
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