Friday 15 Nov 2019: The University of Colorado Space Weather Technology, Research, and Education Center (SWx TREC)
Dr. Thomas Berger - Director, SWx-TREC, University of Colarado
Forum SR 11 The Steve Edge room 14:30-16:30
The term “Space Weather” encapsulates a field of study that brings together the traditional disciplines of solar physics, magnetospheric physics, atmospheric and ionospheric physics, and even solid-Earth geophysics to better understand how our planet, and other planets in the solar system, interact with our central star, the Sun. Space weather has also received an increasing amount of attention from civil and military space agencies, as well as infrastructure operators who have recognized critical vulnerabilities to space weather events, particularly the potentially extreme events that could severely damage the power grid and deny GNSS services for days. Responding to the increased need for better understanding, prediction, and mitigation of space weather, as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the field, the University of Colorado at Boulder recently charted the Space Weather Technology, Research, and Education Center (SWx TREC) as a new academic center of excellence in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. SWx TREC’s mission is twofold: to serve as a focal point for space weather-related research, technology development, and education; and to help bridge the divide between fundamental space science research and operational space weather forecasting centers. These “Research-to-Operations”, or R2O, transitions have historically been slow and inefficient due in part to the lack of centers that specialize in tailoring research products (models, data, mission designs) to the needs of the operational space weather forecasting enterprise. In this talk we describe several of the projects initiated in SWx TREC that are designed to accelerate the transition of space science research into space weather operations: the Space Weather Data Portal and associated Testbed facility, new tools for collecting, analyzing, and displaying data from the disparate data sources and models addressing complex space weather events; a Deep Learning Laboratory for applying advances in Artificial Intelligence to environmental prediction, particularly on solar eruption forecasting; and a proposed flagship Heliophysics mission for improved space weather forecasting and solar physics research called the Solar Polar Observing Constellation (SPOC). International collaborations are a particular area for development for SWx TREC, so pathways for linking US and UK research efforts in the field of space weather will also be discussed.