This year's workshop fielded 274 attendees representing 19 different countries, setting the tone for an excellent week of discussion on space weather impacts, user needs and requirements, forecasting, and research and modeling developments. With the recent St. Patrick's Day Geomagnetic Storm, there was plenty to talk about throughout the week!
This year marked the 50th Anniversary of daily space weather forecasting from NOAA, a milestone that provided the foundation for worthwhile discussions about the history of solar observations based from Boulder, as well as a focus on the growing constituency affected by space weather conditions.
The week started off strong with an all-day GOES-"Next" Workshop, pulling in experts from academia, industry, and government to define requirements for the next series of GOES satellites (following GOES-R) scheduled to launch in 2030 timeframe. The focus then switched to the introduction of the White House SWORM (Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation) Task Force that Dr. Louis Uccellini serves as a co-chair on. The purpose of the task force is developing a National Space Weather Strategy to increase the nation’s preparedness for extreme space weather events. The SWORM presentations outlined the development of strategic goals to be undertaken by government agencies, academia, and the private sector. Task Force goal team leads provided details of the National Strategy and provided an opportunity for questions and comments from workshop attendees during a panel discussion.
With the recent successful launch of NOAA's DSCOVR satellite in February 2015, a trio of presentations highlighted the successes, status, instrumentation, and mission goals for the ACE satellite replacement. Over 50 presentations followed throughout the week, spanning all facets of the space weather enterprise. Speakers and attendees delved into emerging and relevant topics including national policy, agency perspectives, government and private sector roles, modeling, research, international perspectives, and impacts on specific industry sectors including airline, power grid, and GPS end users.
The week also featured key updates from various agency leads (NASA, NSF, NOAA, Air Force), a distinguished commercial sector roundtable highlighting the growing space weather enterprise, highly attended poster sessions, tours of the SWPC forecast office, and a banquet featuring NOAA's own Dr. Sandy MacDonald (ESRL Director and current President of the AMS) capping the evening with an inspiring presentation that showcased "Science on a Sphere".
The Space Weather Workshop has proven to be unique in that no other meeting brings together all the elements of the space weather community, provides an end-to-end view of the space weather enterprise, and serves to strengthen and foster relationships and partnerships across agencies, academia, and the private sector.
Space Weather Workshop attendees.