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Solar Wind Satellite (U)

Overview (U):

(U) A permanent Solar Wind Satellite (SWS) could provide a 30-60 minute warning of potential high speed solar wind streams and interplanetary magnetic field orientations to space and ground based systems.

Description (U):

(U) A SWS could be placed in an orbit around the Lagrangian libration point (called L1), since the earth's magnetic field acts as a shield from solar wind. High speed solar wind streams and southward directed interplanetary magnetic fields can induce geomagnetic disturbances that can impact space systems. The SWS could provide a 30-60 minute warning of potential space environment impacts to space and ground based systems, as well as data for magnetospheric forecast models. A SWS could use X-band transmissions to downlink its data to the AFSCN, which could then transmit the data to 55th Space Weather Squadron (55 SWXS).

(U) A permanent SWS would be based on previous demonstrations, such as the Pioneer Venus satellite of the 1980s along with the current WIND satellite and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) scheduled for a September 1997 launch.

(U) One concept uses a solar wind sail that would deploy the satellite closer to the sun. The satellite's orbit would be stabilized from interplanetary solar wind pressure. This option would provide even longer warning of increased solar activity.

(U) There is a potential for sharing costs with NOAA, since many commercial power companies are interested in receiving advance warning of geomagnetic activity. For a two satellite constellation at L1, total estimated DoD costs are $110 million with a 2006 IOC. This includes the $50 million to launch both satellites on a Delta rocket. Another proposal includes NASA and DoE, which could reduce the DoD share in a four agency program to $55.5 million.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmable.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Space-Based SensorsSpace Based Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

National Security Space Road MapIntegrated System Road Map
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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