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grey200 IACG to Support Science Coordination of Space Physics Missions for Solar Maximum

The Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) is comprised of key delegates from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Space Agency (RSA), the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of Japan, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The IACG's main objective is to take advantage of and greatly enhance the scientific return from their fleet of current and upcoming solar-terrestrial spacecraft. In early October the IACG met at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern Switzerland and approved several important recommendations from it Space Physics Working Group.

The IACG approved the extension, through the upcoming solar maximum period, the following Campaigns:
  • Campaign 1 - Magnetotail Energy Flow, Storage and Release
  • Campaign 2 - Boundaries in Collisionless Plasmas
  • Campaign 3 - Solar Events and their Manifestation in Interplanetary Space

The current fleet of IACG missions currently used to support these campaigns include: Wind, Polar, Geotail, Interball, SOHO, ACE, and other missions and ground-based facilities. This set of capabilities will be augmented with several new agency missions such as IMAGE and Cluster II during the solar maximum (launch in early and mid-2000 respectively) and future correlative work should take full advantage of these current and new agency missions.

Other Recommendations:
  • It was also noted that the IACG Campaign 4 (Solar Sources of Heliospheric Structures out of the Ecliptic) had been completed with the first full heliocentric orbit of Ulysses. The associated science accomplishments point to a new series of interesting physical questions that can be addressed in the future regarding the transition between small-scale coronal fields and large-scale heliospheric fields, especially in the origin of "open" solar magnetic fields. Since Ulysses was now still near the ecliptic, the IACG accepted the recommendation that new Heliospheric Science in Campaign 4 again be taken up after a pause of one year.
  • The solar observatory spacecraft of the present generation (Yohkoh, SOHO, TRACE, Coronas-I) and other heliospheric spacecraft (e.g. Ulysses) have generated an enormous volume of data relating to flares, CMEs and other forms of solar activity, and the quiet sun. The IACG's Space Science Working Group felt that the time was ripe to conduct a major workshop/review activity, analogous to the Skylab workshop series, to help guide the scientific productivity of the new generation of observatories (HESSI and SOLAR-B plus ground-based facilities). Based on this, the IACG will endorse an upcoming Science Workshop in this area.
  • With the upcoming era of solar maximum, it was recognized that renewed scientific emphasis will be devoted to the study of the dynamical properties of the Radiation Belts which are greatly affected by substorms, geomagnetic storms, and shock encounters of the magnetosphere. The evolving orbit of Polar, IMAGE, the recently selected IMEX mission of NASA, and other IACG projects will provide new fundamental observations in support of the renewed approach to the physics of trapped radiation. The IACG's Space Physics Working Group requested and received the IACG's endorsement of the recent COSPAR initiative to promote the archiving of high resolution energetic particle data as a part of WG-2 efforts to deepen the understanding of the physical processes leading to the formation of Radiation Belts and acceleration of trapped radiation.
  • And finally, the IACG assigned ISSI to manage the IACG web site (currently managed by GSFC at http://iacg.org/) and therein to maintain information on the process of its campaigns principal scientific results, and an associated bibliography of relevant publications.

Web Development: Sandy Kopman (skopman@pop600.gsfc.nasa.gov )
Official NASA Contact: Mr. William Mish (wmish@istp1.gsfc.nasa.gov)
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Last Updated: 11/16/98

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