[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 48 (Monday, March 12, 2018)]
[Pages 10753-10754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-04874]



Request for Information--National Space Weather Action Plan; 
Extension of Comment Period

AGENCY: National Science Foundation.

ACTION: Notification of extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: The National Science Foundation published a notice on January 
5, 2018, seeking inputs from the public on establishing space weather 
research priorities to address Action 5.5.1 in the National Space 
Weather Action Plan. The original comment date was to end on March 6, 

DATES: Comments on this notice will now be accepted through April 6, 

ADDRESSES: Comments on the on space weather research priorities may be 
submitted in writing through April 6, 2018 to [email protected]. See the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for comment guidelines.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Michael Wiltberger at (703) 
292-8519, or email to [email protected] for further information. Any 
requests for clarification must be received no later than seven (7) 
days prior to the close of this RFI in order receive a timely response.


I. Background Information

    On October 29, 2015, the White House OSTP released the National 
Space Weather Strategy (NSWS) and Space Weather Action Plan (SWAP). The 
NSWS identifies several key goals in specific areas of space weather 
research and operations to make the national critical infrastructure 
and technologies resilient to space weather events. The NSWS also calls 
for improving national space-weather services through advancing 
fundamental understanding of the underlying physical processes and 
their forecasting. The SWAP document, which accompanied NSWS, specifies 
actions to develop and continually improve predictive models through 
enhanced fundamental understanding of space weather and its drivers. In 
particular, the SWAP Action 5.5.1 directed NSF, NASA, DOC and DOD with 
documenting priorities for research and development (R&D) efforts to 
enhance the fundamental understanding of space weather and its drivers 
and to improve space weather forecasting capabilities.

    Action 5.5.1: NSF and NASA, in collaboration with DOC and DOD, 
will lead an annual effort to prioritize and identify opportunities 
for research and development (R&D) to enhance the understanding of 
space weather and its sources. These activities will be coordinated 
with existing National-level and scientific studies. This effort 
will include modeling, developing, and testing models of the coupled 
sun-Earth system and quantifying the long- and short-term 
variability of space weather.

    Forecasting space weather depends on understanding the fundamental 
processes that give rise to hazardous events. Continued support for 
basic research in solar and space physics is essential to achieve the 
level of understanding required for accurate predictions. Particularly 
important is the study of processes that link the Sun-Earth system and 
that control the flow of energy within the coupled system.
    Space weather science as a discipline is still in its nascent 
phase. There exist significant gaps in the fundamental understanding of 
many physical processes and coupling mechanisms underpinning various 
space weather phenomena. This poses a major limiting factor for 
improving space weather prediction, including some of the most 
important and immediate operational needs. It is, therefore, essential 
to continue untargeted investments in basic research into areas that in 
unforeseeable ways can lead to a better understanding of the physical 
processes that drive space weather.
    High priority space weather research topics and linkages to the 
SWAP Benchmarks (Goal 1) were assessed by the 5.5.1 interagency working 
group. The SWAP benchmarks are a set of physical characteristics and 
conditions against which a space-weather event can be measured. They 
describe the nature and intensity of extreme space-weather events, 
providing a point of reference from which to improve understanding of 
space-weather effects. Addressing research that would advance our 
physical understanding of the phenomenology behind these benchmarks 
will ultimately improve our predictive capability necessary for 
operational advancements.

II. Purpose

    Successful execution of Action 5.5.1 requires definitions of 
research priorities in the context of benchmarks identified by NSWS 
Goal 1. An interagency working group developed the first set of 
priorities in fulfillment of this task. To ensure that an optimal list 
of priorities is generated, which could benefit all interested parties 
including Federal agencies, state and local governments, universities, 
policy groups, and the private sector, the broader community must weigh 
in. This RFI requests public comments to SWAP

[[Page 10754]]

Action 5.5.1 to support a public dialogue on developing research 
priorities to enhance fundamental understanding of space weather and 
its drivers to develop and continually improve predictive models.
    This RFI seeks inputs from the research community on setting 
research priorities, which will then be used as guidance by various 
concerned agencies in planning for space weather related research 
programs. Examples of space weather research topics include ionospheric 
irregularities and structure, thermospheric neutral density and neutral 
wind response to external drivers, forecasting of GICs, radiation belt 
dynamics, SEP events, flare and CME initiation and propagation, 
forecasting of EUV and proxy F10.7, predictions of ICME amplitudes and 
directions, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling during space weather 
events, etc.

III. Response Instructions

    The specific objective of this RFI is to seek information that will 
assist the Action 5.5.1 Working Group in determining a list of space 
weather research priorities.
    Disclaimer: Federal agencies may or may not use any responses to 
this RFI as a basis for a subsequent project, program, or funding 
opportunity. Responses to this RFI will not be returned. The National 
Science Foundation is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the 
information received, or provide feedback to respondents with respect 
to any information submitted under this RFI. No requests for a bid 
package or solicitation will be accepted; no bid package or 
solicitation exists. In order to protect the integrity of any possible 
future acquisition, no additional information will be provided and no 
appointments for presentations will be made in reference to this RFI. 
This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and 
does not constitute a solicitation. Responders to this RFI will have no 
competitive advantage in receiving any awards related to the submitted 
input on a potential space weather-related research priority.
    Confidential Information: Some contents of the submissions may be 
made public. Therefore, responses must be unclassified and should not 
contain any information that might be considered proprietary, 
confidential, business sensitive, or personally identifying (such as 
home address or social security number).
    Instructions: One page documents per topic, multiple documents are 
allowed. Reponses must include the following sections; (1) Title--short 
and descriptive, (2) Brief Summary of Impacts--a bulleted list of 
systems impacted by the potential study, (3) Description--a succinct 
discussion of the topic, its importance, and relevant supporting 
evidence or arguments, (4) 5-10 year Imperatives--a bulleted list of 
the steps necessary to carry out the research including comments on 
relative importance to other. A section including references can be 
added if needed. Responses should follow the template outlined below. 
Responses may be no longer than 1 page type written in 12-point font.

Response Template
Title of the priority
Brief Summary of Impacts
     One sentence summary of impact 1
     One sentence summary of impact 2
Background and Relevance
A few paragraphs explaining the background of the space weather 
research priority, its relevance to SWAP Goal 5.5.1 and supporting 
justification of why this is a high priority issue.

5-10 Year Goals
    Over the next 5 to 10 years it is imperative to:
     One sentence summary of goal 1
     One sentence summary of goal 2
    Include essential references only


National Space Weather Strategy, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/final_nationalspaceweatherstrategy_20151028.pdf
National Space Weather Action Plan,https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/final_nationalspaceweatheractionplan_20151028.pdf

    Dated: March 7, 2018.
Suzanne H. Plimpton,
Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
[FR Doc. 2018-04874 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am]