Exploring the Geospace Frontier: Quo Vadis?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 to Friday, May 27, 2016
NCAR FL2 (Foothills Lab 2), 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder

View the PowerPoint presentations or watch the videos by selecting the talk titles or session numbers on the agenda.

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Workshop Report – click here to view the workshop report. pdf logo

A workshop is being organized to help shape the direction of research in geospace system science. The workshop will focus on the experimental infrastructure required for discovery research in the 21st century, with consideration for both basic and applied research driven by cutting edge observations of the system. We will develop strategies that can integrate geospace research across outmoded disciplinary boundaries and better align with activities carried out by different federal and international agencies.

Initiatives to be considered during the workshop will span the Sun-Earth connection. Examples of unique geospace capabilities for the future to be discussed at the workshop would include the construction of a low-frequency, multi-static radar system capable of receiving echoes from the middle atmosphere through the ionosphere, plasmasphere, magnetosphere, and the Sun. This facility would also include advanced, high-power lidar systems as described by the "OASIS - Exploring the Interaction of the Earth's Atmosphere with Space" document. Another research-driving facility could be the COSMO suite of instrumentation to describe the multidimensional magneto-thermal environment of the solar atmosphere at the heart of the space weather enterprise.

The workshop will take place in the context of contemporary community strategic documents and also other major experimental initiatives in geospace including EISCAT_3D and current and planned NASA missions, and natural synergies and overlaps will be considered. We expect the workshop to culminate in an action plan for pursuing an NSF MREFC (Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction) project to enable discovery science across the Geospace community.

Several documents from past community consensus activities have described elements that could form the basis of such a Geospace Facility. Here are links to these documents describing a Geospace radar facility, an Observatory for Atmosphere Space Interaction Studies (OASIS) and the OASIS Engineering and Technical Supplement, the Coronal and Solar Magnetism Observatory (CoSMO), and the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR).

The workshop is sponsored by NSF and HAO/NCAR.


The registration fee is $100. Note that cancellations made before April 25 will incur a $10 cancellation fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations after this date. Register here.


We have reserved a block of rooms at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel at a rate of $125/night, wifi included. You may also call the hotel directly at (800) 545-6285; please refer to the group code "1605UCARSS" when booking your room. The room block will be held until April 25. Other nearby hotels include:

How to get to Boulder, Colorado

Fly into Denver International Airport. Rent a car or book one of the shuttles below. If you are coming directly to the workshop, have the driver take you to the NCAR FL2 (Foothills Lab 2) building, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder. If you are returning to the airport Friday after the workshop, you can arrange to be picked up at the same location.

Transportation will not be provided to/from the workshop and hotels. You will need to drive, take a taxi (303) 777-7777, or Uber.

Workshop Location

The workshop will be held at NCAR's Foothills Lab 2, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO, 80301, in the main auditorium. It's the building with the flagpole straight in front of the stop sign at the t-junction on Mitchell Lane. Free parking in the lot in front of the building or any of the nearby lots.


Breakfast (starts 7:30) and lunch are available for purchase in the cafeteria. Only cash is accepted and there's an ATM in the lobby.

Driving Directions & Maps