Synoptic Network Workshop Overview

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The High Altitude Observatory recently partnered with the National Solar Observatory to hold a 3-day workshop to discuss and gather community input on science requirements, capabilities and instrumentation for a next-generation synoptic network of solar observing instruments. The workshop, from April 22–24, was attended by 36 participants from six countries.

Synoptic Workshop
Synoptic Workshop

Discussion and presentations centered around four themes: existing observational capabilities; scientific and operational requirements for a synoptic network, including space weather, solar magnetism, helioseismology and irradiance; and instrumentation concepts.

A wide range of new science and operational drivers, and new instrumentation concepts, were discussed. It was agreed that a promising technical concept for each site of a multi-site network is a mount capable of housing multiple instruments for different purposes (e.g. helioseismology, polarimetry, space weather observations). This has the advantage that more instruments can be installed as funding permits, and it gives the user community and sponsors more flexibility and control.

One of the early next steps will be for a white paper to be written, together with the development of scientific and operational use cases and requirements. Any scientific colleague interested in assisting with these tasks is warmly encouraged to contact Michael Thompson (HAO) or Frank Hill (NSO).