Observation and Analysis Opportunities Collaborating with the ICON and GOLD Missions

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 to Wednesday, September 28, 2016

NCAR High Altitude Observatory, 3080 Center Green Dr., Boulder, Colorado

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With a confluence of new satellite missions and ground-based observations, there is an unprecedented opportunity for solving significant outstanding problems in near-Earth space weather. Starting in 2017, two new NASA missions, ICON and GOLD, will observe the thermosphere and ionosphere using optical and in-situ instruments. The international COSMIC-2 constellation will map the ionosphere using GPS occultation. Enhanced ground-based observatories, cubesats, and other satellite constellations, will also provide essential new measurements. Combining these tools to effectively address questions in ion-neutral coupling and upper-atmosphere dynamics will require a comprehensive scientific strategy for broad community participation. This workshop presented information on the goals and instrumentation of the space-based missions, and proposed complementary ground-based observations, modeling, and data synthesis. A report has been compiled, summarizing opportunities for discovery using future observational and modeling methods.

The workshop was sponsored by the NSF Geospace Section, and was hosted by the NCAR High Altitude Observatory at its Center Green facility in Boulder, Colorado. Attendance included over one hundred participants from the solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, and atmospheric local and national communities, whose interests overlapped the core thermosphere-ionosphere investigations.