TR&T Strategic Capability:
Model of an Active Region Coronal Magnetic Field
A primary goal of
the LWS Program is the development of first-principles-based predictive
and specification models for the coupled Sun-Earth system. Such models
are essential for making progress on the science priorities and to assist
in the interpretation and linking together of the data that will be
produced by the LWS missions, other NASA-SEC missions, and ground-based
facilities. Models serve multiple purposes. They act as tools for science
investigations, as prototypes and test beds for first-principles-based
prediction and specification capabilities, as frameworks for linking
disparate data sets at vantage points throughout the HP system, and
as strategic planning aids for testing new mission concepts.
These efforts can leverage existing modeling resources, but will also
likely require significant new code development and possibly multi-
institutional collaborations. The primary function of such code development
is to provide a tool for science and a prototype operational tool. Proposals
for strategic capabilities are competed separately from the targeted
investigations efforts. The defining characteristics of a successful
proposal to provide a strategic capability should include, but need
not necessarily be limited to, the following:
project delivers a model that is deemed by the review panel to be
essential for making progress toward the ultimate goal of forecasting
and specifying the coupled Sun-Earth system.
model can serve as a prototype for operational capability; it must
use actual data as input and produce useful output.
project delivers a tool that is deemed by the review panel to have
broad, cross- disciplinary science applicability. The size of the
likely user base for the proposed tool should be a major factor in
project provides easy access to the model, either directly by the
developers or through a modeling center. In the case of software,
the source code and documentation should be required to be delivered
to one of the modeling centers utilized by LWS.
Priorities for strategic
capabilities proposals are set by the TR&T Steering Committee, based
on the overall LWS program goals and research priorities. Peer review
panels will select, based on the submitted proposals, those strategic
capabilities that are most ready for immediate development and are most
important to the LWS program at that time.
NASA/NSF (AFOSR) Partnership for Collaborative Space Weather Modeling
Space weather refers to conditions on the sun and in the solar wind, interplanetary medium, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems andcan endanger human life or health. Mitigation of these adverse effects requires understanding of the fundamental physical processes that affect the state of the Sun, solar wind, interplanetary medium, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and upper atmosphere. This understanding is being achieved by a variety of ongoing programs that address research, observations, and modeling of the space environment.
The National Space Weather Program (NSWP) is a multiagency Federal research initiative seeking to mitigate the adverse effects of space weather. Its ultimate goal is to achieve timely, accurate, and reliable space environment observations, specifications, and forecasts. Information about the NSWP can be obtained from the National Space Weather Program Strategic Plan and the National Space Weather Program
Implementation Plan, both available at http://www.ofcm.gov/homepage/text/pubs.htm. NSWP goals address a number of scientific and operational requirements. For example, NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, which provides a comprehensive plan to explore the solar system and beyond with an initial focus on the Moon and Mars, requires appropriate scientific knowledge to explore and support decisions about the destinations for human exploration.
Under the NSWP, the Upper Atmosphere Research Section of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF), in coordination with the NSF Office of Polar Programs, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), solicits proposals in support of NSWP objectives. In addition to basic research, this proposal competition has emphasized the development of space weather models for specification and forecast of conditions throughout the space environment.
Similarly, a primary goal of NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program is the development of first-principles-based models for the coupled Sun-Earth and Sun-Solar System, similar in spirit to the first-principles models for the lower terrestrial atmosphere. Such models can act as tools for science investigations, as prototypes and test beds for prediction and specification capabilities, as frameworks for linking disparate data sets at
vantage points throughout the Sun-Solar System, and as strategic planning aids for enabling exploration of outer space and testing new mission concepts. To begin the process of developing and integrating models for all the components of the Sun-Earth and Sun-Solar System chain, the LWS Targeted Research and Technology (TR&T) Science Definition Team identified these models and their integration as strategic capabilities that are critical for the TR&T program and recommended that they be funded as a distinct program element within the TR&T. Because of the common goals among the agency programs described above, the LWS TR&T steering committee (http://lws-trt.gsfc.nasa.gov/trt_steercom05.pdf) suggested a
unique partnership between NASA and NSF to support large-scale research projects that are more ambitious than those typically supported by a single grant by either institution.
This NASA/NSF Partnership for Collaborative Space Weather Modeling will support modeling collaborations between institutions, including Government laboratories and universities, on projects that require funding levels in the range of $300K to $500K per year. Collaborations among proposing institutions are not required, but it is anticipated that collaborations are more likely to meet the objectives of this solicitation.
Two strategic goals have been identified that are of immediate concern to both the NSWP and to NASA's LWS program:
1. The need for a comprehensive, coupled, quantitative three-dimensional model for the outer magnetosphere, inner magnetosphere (plasmasphere, ring current, and radiation belts), and the ionosphere, including polar regions; and
2. The need for a three-dimensional time-dependent model of the solar corona and the ambient solar wind.
The NASA LWS program has identified an additional strategic goal of immediate concern only to NASA and its Vision for Space Exploration:
3. The need for a predictive model for radiation exposure anywhere on the surface or in the atmosphere of Earth, on the Moon, on Mars, and in interplanetary space between Earth and Mars.