Steering Committee and Working Groups for the NCSS Decadal Plan for Space Science

The basic philosophy is that of a Decadal Plan Steering Committee and multiple subordinate Working Groups. The Steering Committee has final responsibility for the development, writing, approval, and publication of the Decadal Plan documents. Each Working Group is responsible for researching a specific component of the Decadal Plan and then providing recommendations (e.g., priority research topics, ideas, and projects/missions) and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee.

The basic structure is shown in the diagram.

Below the draft aims of each Working Group are given, as well as the recommended membership of the Steering Committee and the names (in bold) of the confirmed Chairs of each Working Group. These Chairs will be forming their WGs by invitation, subject to an initial list and the final authority of the Steering Committee. Volunteers for a specific WG should contact the Chair; of course, they can provide specific input to the WG and Plan without being a WG member.

1. Decadal Plan Steering Committee

The membership is: Iver Cairns (Chair, email: i.cairns@physics.usyd.edu.au ), David Cole, Peter Dyson, Brian Fraser, Alex Held, Andrew Parfitt, Malcolm Walter (all NCSS), Rod Boswell (ANU), Marc Norman (ANU, Geol. Soc. Aust.), Graziella Caprarelli (UTS, Geol. Soc. of Aust), Jon Clark (Geosciences Australia, Mars Society), Brett Biddington (Cisco), Carol Oliver (Macq), John Zillman (ATSE).

2. Working Groups

Note that these WGs are expected to have overlap.

New Australian Instruments and Space Missions Working Group

Intended to develop the ideas for instruments/missions in the Strawman document and its own instruments/missions, and to provide a unified and objective analysis of instruments/missions proposed by other Working Groups. It would be good to link new Australian rocket and small/micro satellite building capabilities with new science. Expected outcomes: Detailed concepts, science justifications, and reasonable costings for new Australian instruments for international space missions and/or new Australian space missions for the Decadal Plan. Chair: Brian Fraser (Newcastle, email: brian.fraser@newcastle.edu.au); Deputy Chair: Iver Cairns (U. Sydney, email: i.cairns@physics.usyd.edu.au ).

Demographics Working Group

Intended to determine the current number of space scientists (defined according to the Purview document), their institutions, and types of outputs/interests, plus the historical numbers of such people or similar proxies (e.g., the number of STSP papers at AIP Congresses or Australian space scientists who were/are officers in international “space science” societies. One likely course of action is to send targeted surveys/questionnaires to likely targets. An estimate of the public interest in space science as opposed to related sciences (e.g., astronomy, geology etc.) might be useful. Expected outcomes are detailed histograms and other displays for the Plan and other advertisements. Chair: Brian Fraser (U. Newcastle, email: brian.fraser@newcastle.edu.au ).

2.1 Government and the Public

Government Working Group

Intended to determine what needs Government has for space science and allow Government institutions and members of Government to have input comment in personal/individual capacities. International outreach and links with international space agencies and governments are also relevant. Expected outcomes are statements of needs/desires and plans for how to achieve them. One anticipated subject is space weather. Chair: Andrew Parfitt (U. South Australia, email: andrew.parfitt@unisa.edu.au ).

Public Outreach Working Group

Intended to determine how to better obtain support, both financial and moral, from the Public and to find out what the public would like from Australian space scientists, industry, and Government. Expected outcomes are specific ways and plans to bridge the divides that apparently exist between professional scientists and the public groups like MSSA, NSSA, Geol. Soc. Aust. AIP etc. that are interested in the science and its uses. International relations is also relevant. Chair: Carol Oliver (Macquarie, email: carol.oliver@mq.edu.au ).

2.2 Industry/Science

Ground Working Group

Intended to find out what interests and capabilities that Australian industry and scientists have in ground-based technology, to compare the possible differences between Industry and Science, and identify how to develop and extend these interests and capabilities for scientific, financial, and national profit. Expected outcomes are recommendations (e.g., priority topics for research and industry/science collaboration), specific plans/projects that develop and extend these interests into instruments, missions, products etc., and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee. Anticipated subjects include radars, ground-reception of satellite data, radio and other wavelength telescopes (e.g., MWA), and ground instruments like magnetometers, optical detectors etc. based in Australia, dependent islands, and Antarctica. Projects/missions should be submitted to the New Australian Space Instruments and Missions Working Group for its consideration. Chair: Peter Dyson (La Trobe, email: p.dyson@latrobe.edu.au ).

Space Technology Working Group

Intended to find out what interests and capabilities that Australian industry and scientists have in space-based technology, to compare these, and then to identify how to develop and extend these interests and capabilities for scientific, financial, and national profit. Expected outcomes are specific plans and projects that develop and extend these interests. Anticipated subjects include thrusters and propulsion systems for spacecraft, advanced scientific rockets, building of mirrors and habitable structures in space, satellite technology, and technology for scientific instruments and industrial projects in space. Chair: Rod Boswell (ANU, email rod.boswell@anu.edu.au).

Industrial Space Weather Working Group

Intended to identify the ways in which Space Weather are important to Australian Industry, assess the costs, and then to develop plans to mitigate them. Expected outcomes are statements and examples of how Space Weather effects are important to Australian Industry, what the costs are, and how to mitigate them. Chair: David Cole (IPS Radio & Space Services, email: david@ips.gov.au ).

2.3 Science

Sun-to-Ground Coupling

This covers space physics and atmospheric physics, including the science of space weather. Intended to develop, supplement, and extend the ideas in the Strawman document. Expected outcomes are recommendations (e.g., priority research topics, ideas, and projects/missions) and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee. Projects/missions should be submitted to the New Australian Space Instruments and Missions Working Group for its consideration. Chair: Colin Waters (U. Newcastle, email: colin.waters@newcastle.edu.au ).

Remote Sensing from Space

This covers sensing from Earth orbit significant atmospheric, geological, and biological information of scientific and societal interest. Intended to develop, supplement, and extend the ideas in the Strawman document. Expected outcomes are recommendations (e.g., priority research topics, ideas, projects, and missions) and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee. Projects and missions should be submitted to the New Australian Space Instruments and Missions Working Group for its consideration. Chair: Alex Held (COSSA, email: alex.held@csiro.au ).

Planetary Sciences

Covers science of interest to the planetary sciences community in Australia that cannot be obtained from remote sensing of the Earth. Put another way, the focus is on dust, asteroids, comets, moons, planets, and xeno/astrobiology in the solar system that doesn’t involve the Earth. Expected outcomes are recommendations (e.g., priority research topics, ideas, and projects/missions) and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee. Projects/missions should be submitted to the New Australian Space Instruments and Missions Working Group for its consideration. Chair: Marc Norman (ANU, email: marc.norman@anu.edu.au) .

Theory, Modelling, and Data Storage/Provision

Intended to develop and augment the ideas in the Strawman document, so as to provide the underpinnings for an Australian Center in Space Science and for a unified and enhanced Australian effort in space science. Expected outcomes are recommendations (e.g., priority research topics, ideas, and projects/missions) and draft text for the Plan to the Steering Committee. Chair: Peter Robinson (U. Sydney, email: p.robinson@physics.usyd.edu.au).

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