Research

One long term strategy for CSPAR revolves around a much closer integration of the Physics Department with CSPAR and the MSFC with the goal of drawing academic and research activities into broad alignment. Part of this will depend quite critically on who the new Chair of Physics is.

  1. Engage CSPAR research scientists in the Physics Department as Adjunct Faculty or Research Faculty or possibly introduce a new category of unpaid faculty member.
  2. Try again to establish a joint MSFC/CSPAR/UAHuntsville faculty line in the Physics Department.
  3. Capture the National Solar Observatory for UAHuntsville and engage in CSPAR/MSFC/Physics Department activities.
  4. Develop a new funding model for student support that better engages research active faculty and research scientists with graduate students.

A second long term strategy is for CSPAR to leverage its theory and modeling expertise to engage in new major spacecraft and perhaps ground-based observational and experimental programs.

  1. This has been initiated with the Solar Probe mission, a flagship NASA mission that will rewrite our understanding of coronal processes and possibly solve the outstanding heating of the solar wind problem. This is demonstrated successful collaboration between MSFC and CSPAR at all levels.
  2. CSPAR needs to engage more closely with proposed new and existing MSFC experimental programs, especially in the prominent areas of x-ray astrophysics (Chandra), solar physics (Hinode, other new missions, and possibly even the sounding rocket program), terrestrial gamma ray bursts (with the existing GBM group and the atmospheric scientists on the 4th floor), and much more.
  3. With Rosetta well on its way to its target asteroid, this will be an area of exciting new opportunities (Zank is a co-I on the mission). Also, the European mission Solar Orbiter is through to the final round and may well provide important new opportunities.

Finally, we will continue to engage in potential programs that are led by collaborators at e.g., SWRI etc.