Space Weather Advisory Group provides recommendations to U.S. Government agencies
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. On April 17, 2023, the Space Weather Advisory Group (SWAG) provided 25 findings with 56 recommendations which, if implemented, would provide the funding, processes, support, and structure to foster transformative change across the national space weather enterprise. The document, titled “Findings and Recommendations to Successfully Implement PROSWIFT and Transform the National Space Weather Enterprise,” especially outlines 11 high priority recommendations to:
- Fund the Federal Space Weather Enterprise;
- Create and fund an applied research program office for space weather within NOAA to coordinate, facilitate, promote, and transition applied research across the national space weather enterprise;
- Ensure Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) staffing and White House led prioritization and coordination across the national space weather enterprise;
- Protect space weather sensors from spectrum interference;
- Provide long-term support for operational ground-based and airborne sensors and networks;
- Provide and fund critical operational space weather services beyond near-Earth;
- Fund NASA missions that advance fundamental science to support space weather research;
- Coordinate benchmark development or improvement with industry;
- Quantify the societal benefits for addressing risk from space weather by performing national-level and industry-wide economic assessments and consider space weather in the context of broader national risk;
- Support coordinated applied research within the thermosphere (above 100 km altitude) which is critical for space traffic coordination; and
- Foster and lead a global space weather enterprise.
In October 2020, Congress passed the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT Act; P.L. 116-181; 51 USC §§60601- 60608). SWAG was chartered by PROSWIFT to advise the White House-led interagency working group (cf., the Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation (SWORM) subcommittee) on a variety of space weather issues including the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for space weather (i.e., the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan).
In June 2022, SWORM advised SWAG on an update to the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan and tasked SWAG to provide input. In response, SWAG developed its Findings and Recommendations report. This report garnered input from across the national space weather enterprise, which comprises the Federal Government, the commercial sector, and the academic sector.
Space Environment Technologies (SET) supports the SWAG effort and concurs with the Findings and Recommendations, particularly since they support the efforts being made in the commercial sector to build and deploy ground and airborne platforms for sensing space weather as well as focus on the important activities above 100 km related to space traffic management.