Strategic Science to Address Current and Future Space Weather Needs
Abstract:NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) program has contributed a wealth of scientific knowledge that is relevant to space weather and user needs. A targeted approach to science questions has resulted in leveraging new scientific knowledge to improve not only our understanding of the Heliophysics domain, but also to develop predictive capabilities in key areas of LWS science. This fascinating interplay between science and applications promises to benefit both domains. Scientists providing feedback to the LWS program are now discussing an evolution of the targeted approach that explicitly considers how new science improves, or enables, predictive capability directly. Long-term program goals are termed “Strategic Science Areas” (SSAs) that address predictive capabilities in six specific areas: geomagnetically induced currents, satellite drag, solar energetic particles, ionospheric total electron content, radio frequency scintillation induced by the ionosphere, and the radiation environment. SSAs are organized around user needs and the impacts of space weather on society.
Scientists involved in the LWS program identify targeted areas of research that reference (or bear upon) societal needs. Such targeted science leads to new discoveries and is one of the valid forms of exploration. In this talk we describe the benefits of targeted science, and how addressing societal impacts in an appropriate way maintains the strong science focus of LWS, while also leading to its broader impacts.