Vision for the Future of Lws TR&T
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 1:55 PM
The Living With a Star (LWS) program addresses acute societal needs for understanding the effects of space weather and developing scientific knowledge to support predictive capabilities. Our society’s heavy reliance on technologies affected by the space environment, an enormous number of airline customers, interest in space tourism, and the developing plans for long-duration human exploration space missions are clear examples that demonstrate urgent needs for space weather models and detailed understanding of space weather effects and risks. Since its inception, the LWS program has provided a vehicle to innovate new mechanisms for conducting research, building highly effective interdisciplinary teams, and ultimately in developing the scientific understanding needed to transition research tools into operational models that support the predictive needs of our increasingly space-reliant society. The advances needed require broad-based observations that cannot be obtained by large missions alone. The Decadal Survey (HDS, 2012) outlines the nation’s needs for scientific development that will build the foundation for tomorrow’s space weather services. Addressing these goals, LWS must develop flexible pathways to space utilizing smaller, more diverse and rapid development of observational platforms. Expanding utilization of ground-based assets and shared launches will also significantly enhance opportunities to fulfill the growing LWS data needs. Partnerships between NASA divisions, national/international agencies, and with industry will be essential for leveraging resources to address increasing societal demand for space weather advances. Strengthened connections to user communities will enhance the quality and impact of deliverables from LWS programs. Thus, we outline the developing vision for the future of LWS, stressing the need for deeper scientific understanding to improve forecasting capabilities, for more diverse data resources, and for project deliverables that address the growing needs of user communities.