International Collaborations

Solar cycle 24 offers a valuable opportunity to comprehensively study the radiation belts and geospace, since satellite missions are being conducted in several countries. For example, the Van Allen Probes (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) project (USA) [Reeves, 2007; Ukhorskiy et al., 2011] is in progress and the Resonance (Russia) project are planned for geospace exploration around the solar maximum. The THEMIS mission will continuously observe the plasma sheet, which is a source population region of inner magnetospheric plasma. Monitoring satellites, such as POES, GOES, LANL, and GPS, will also continuously provide information on the global geospace environment. The international fleet of these satellites enable simultaneous observations at different radial distances and different local times, which can deepen the quantitative understanding of the radiation belts and geospace.

Besides the satellite observations, international ground-based network observations are very powerful tools for monitoring the state of the geospace system. Observations from the SuperDARN HF radar network, magnetometer networks, and optical imager networks are important for understanding the global geospace environment. Balloon-based X-ray observations by the Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) [Millan and the BARREL Team, 2011], as well as the worldwide consortium of the standard VLF/LF radio wave observations for monitoring ionization in the D layer [Clilverd et al., 2009], will identify when and where relativistic electrons precipitate. The synergy of satellite and ground-based observations is important for revealing the complex dynamics of the inner magnetosphere as a nonlinear, compound system.

The data analysis environment is a key to effectively producing scientific results at this excellent opportunity. Different kinds of data from satellite and ground-based observations as well as from simulations should be analyzed seamlessly. The ERG project has adopted SPEDAS as project data analysis software. SPEDAS is already widely used in the space physics community. Moreover, a quick-look tool for finding conjunctions of satellites and ground-based instruments [e.g., Miyashita et al., 2011] is quite useful to establish cooperation among various projects. International collaborations, which include sharing information on data format and data analysis tools as well as developing common data analysis tools, will provide significant advantages in understanding the whole picture of the geospace dynamics.

Current international programs closely related to geospace studies include the Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact (VarSITI) program by SCOSTEP (2014-2018) and the Living With a Star (LWS) program by NASA.

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