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Draft Proposal: Space Weather as part of an Optional Space Situational Awareness Programme
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  1. Draft Proposal: Space Weather as part of an Optional Space Situational Awareness Programme Glover, E. Daly, R. Marsden, A. Hilgers, SWWT ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  2. Framework/Context Space Situation Awareness “is defined as a comprehensive knowledge, understanding and maintained awareness of (i) the population of space objects; and (ii) of the space environment” …is a concept that has grown out of the increasing dependence of the modern world on space systems – telecom, navigation, surveillance, etc. Concept originates with US military – but civilian systems (particularly in Europe) are just as susceptible – Europe needs to develop both policy and capacity. ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  3. High-Level SSA Concepts Provide users with verifiable, dependable, accurate and timely information in order to: • Identify non-compliance with relevant international treaties and recommendations • Enable the assumption of responsibility (e.g. as launching state, owner, or operator), and support confidence building measures • Support safe and secured operation of space assets and related services • Support risk management (on orbit and during re-entry) and liability assessment • Assess the functional status and capabilities of space systems Information must be provided with integrity, with an architecture enabling the implementation of a data policy, based on an autonomous European SSA system. ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  4. Motivation for action on Space Weather • Recent initiatives have revealed both space weather needs and skills bases in Europe • Development of a more coordinated European approach could be used to strengthen international cooperation & exchange on basis of partnership. • At the same time there is a perceived need to build a European framework in the context of Space Situational Awareness. • Space weather is seen as one of three axes for Space Situational Awareness : • Survey, Tracking, • Imaging • Space weather (space environment monitoring) At present it is proposed to introduce at the next ESA Ministerial Council an ESA Optional Programme for Space Situational Awareness which may include an element of space weather ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  5. Proposal Scope • Develop an ESA-led space weather initiative, including the establishment of a European Centre for Space Weather Services as part of an optional Space Situational Awareness programme • The initiative would aim to: • Provide a focal point for coordinating ongoing European activities of the kind initiated in the framework of the Space Weather Applications Pilot Project (SWAPP), • Provide a stable nucleus for the development, testing and deployment of future space weather services in Europe. ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  6. Rationale ESA-funded studies conducted between 1999 and 2006 have identified a number of important benefits that a coordinated European space weather programme would provide. These include: • Economic benefits: Improvement in the ability to circumvent space weather problems in all domains. A space weather service coordinated through ESA would deliver products to improve the quality and efficiency of design and operation of increasingly sensitive technologies in many domains of strategic importance to Europe. • Strategic benefits: International Partnerships and security of European assets • Security benefits: Security forces rely heavily on technological systems which can be strongly affected by space weather. A European space weather programme would provide independent access and/or a firm basis for collaboration; • Research and Development A space weather programme would allow opportunities for cutting-edge technology developments in many space and ground technologies of strategic interest to European industry plus the long time-series of consistent data would be beneficial for future scientific research interests; • Collaboration Several European member states have world-class modelling and instrumentation resources which could gain considerably from a collaborative framework. Facilitation of this collaboration is the natural role of ESA. ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007

  7. A European Centre for Space Weather Services Mandate: establish and develop sustainable European space weather services, based firmly on the analyses and fulfilment of user requirements, building on the positive outcome of the SWAPP. . Framework: distributed data sources and services tied together by a high-performance IT infrastructure, building on existing partnerships and collaborations Specific tasks: • Coordinating space weather resources and services at a European level; • Ensuring close collaboration with National agencies and the EC in order to ensure continued operation and modernisation of facilities; • Ensuring the coordination, processing and exploitation of space weather-related data resources; • Establishing products (models and tools) addressing space weather effects; • Maintaining close contact with the user community in order to anticipate evolving requirements, and to develop customer awareness and marketing strategies; • Coordinating (and where necessary, initiating) targeted research and development, including relevant scientific research; • Establishing the necessary measurement capabilities to support European space weather services; • … ESWW4, 5-9th November 2007