MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

A Summary of the SWIMMR Kick-Off Meeting

The kick-off event for the Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Study (one of the Wave 2 programmes of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund) took place in the Wolfson Library of the Royal Society on Tuesday November 26th. Seventy-five people attended the event, representing a range of academic institutions, as well as representatives from industry, government and public sector research establishments such as the UK Met Office. 

The morning session of the meeting consisted of five presentations, introducing the programme and its relevance to government, the Research Councils and the Met Office, as well as describing details of the potential calls. The presentations were as follows:

  •  Prof John Loughhead (Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Programme (a governmental perspective). The slides from Prof John Loughhead's talk are available here.
  • Prof Chris Mutlow (Director of STFC RAL Space) - SWIMMR: Project funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund (a perspective from STFC).  The slides from Prof Chris Mutlow's talk are available here.
  • Jacky Wood (Head of Business Partnerships at NERC) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) - A NERC perspective.  The slides from Jacky Wood's talk are available here.
  • Dr. Ian McCrea (Senior Programme Manager for SWIMMR) -  SWIMMR: Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk: A wave 2 programme of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.  The slides from Dr Ian McCrea's talk are available here.
  • Mark Gibbs (Head of Space Weather at the UK Met Office) - SWIMMR (Met Office perspective and detailed description of the calls.  The slides from Mark Gibb's talk are available here.

During the lunch break, the Announcement of Opportunity for the five NERC SWIMMR calls was issued on the NERC web site.  The afternoon therefore began with a brief introduction by Jacky Wood to the NERC Announcement of Opportunity, and the particular terms and conditions which it contained.

The remainder of the afternoon session was spent in a Question and Answer session in which attendees were able to ask questions to the speakers about the nature of the programme and the potential timing of future calls, and finally to an informal discussion session, in which participants gathered into groups to discuss the opportunities for funding which had been outlined. 

2019 RAS Council elections

As you may have seen, the nominations for RAS Council are currently open with a deadline of 29 November. MIST falls under the “G” (Geophysics) category and there are up to 3 councillor positions and one vice-president position available. MIST Council strongly encourages interested members of the MIST community to consider standing for election.
 
Clare Watt (University of Reading) has kindly volunteered to be a point of contact for the community for those who may wish to talk more about being on council and what it involves. Clare is a councillor on RAS Council, with her term due to complete in 2020, and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

 

Outcome of SSAP priority project review

From the MIST mailing list:

We are writing to convey the outcome of this year’s priority project “light touch” review, specifically with reference to those projects within the remit of SSAP. We would like to thank all the PIs that originally submitted ideas, and those who provided updates to their projects over the summer. SSAP strongly believe that all the projects submitted are underpinned by strong scientific drivers in the SSAP area.

The “light touch” review was undertaken with a unified approach by SSAP and AAP, considering factors that have led to priority project development (in STFC or other research councils) or new funding for priority projects (1/51 projects in the STFC remit) in the last 12 months. After careful discussion, it was agreed by SSAP and AAP not to select any project where the remit clearly overlaps with UKSA (i.e. space missions or TRL 4+), reflecting STFC’s focus on ground-based observations, science exploitation and TRL 0-3 development. Whilst in no way reflecting the excellence of the science, or community scientific wishes, this approach has resulted in some changes to the list of SSAP priority projects. However, now, unlike at the time of the original call, it is clear that such projects cannot move forwards without UKSA (financial) support, and such funds are already committed according to UKSA’s existing programme. SSAP remain strongly supportive of mission-led science in solar-system exploration, so SSAP have strongly recommended that the high-level discussions between UKSA and STFC continue with a view to supporting a clear joint priority projects call in future, more naturally suited to mission and bi-lateral opportunities.

The priority projects (and PIs) identified by SSAP for 2019/20 are:

  • Solar Atmospheric Modelling Suite (Tony Arber)
  • LARES1: Laboratory Analysis for Research into Extra-terrestrial Samples (Monica Grady)
  • EST: European Solar Telescope (Sarah Matthews)

SSAP requested STFC continue to work with all three projects to expand their community reach and continue to develop the business cases for future (new) funding opportunities. In addition, SSAP have requested that STFC explore ways in which the concept of two projects—“ViCE: Virtual Centres of Excellence Programme / MSEMM Maximising Science Exploitation from Space Science Missions”—can be combined and, with community involvement, generate new funding for science exploitation and maximising scientific return in solar-system sciences. Initially this consultation will occur between SSAP and STFC.

We would like to thank the community again for its strong support, and rapid responses on very short timescales. A further “light touch” review will occur in 2020, with a new call for projects anticipated in 2021. SSAP continue to appreciate the unfamiliar approach a “call for proposals with no funding attached” causes to the community and are continuing to stress to STFC that the community would appreciate clearer guidance and longer timescales in future priority project calls.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Fraser on behalf of SSAP

The Global Network for the Sustainability In Space (GNOSIS)

The Global Network for the Sustainability In Space (GNOSIS) is an STFC Network+ with the goal of helping researchers within the Particle, Nuclear and Astrophysics areas to engage with researchers from other research councils and industry to study the near Earth space environment. For more details, visit the GNOSIS website or see this issue of the GNOSIS newsletter.

Over the next few years we expect a large increase in the number of satellites in Earth orbit. This will lead to unprecedented levels of space traffic much of which will end as debris. The aim of this network is to understand the debris populations and its impact on space traffic management with a view to enabling a safer environment.

The free GNOSIS lunch event will be held on 18 November 2019 at the British Interplanetary Society at Vauxhall, London, with a video link to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, to facilitate participation from across the UK. Tickets can be obtained here.

GNOSIS will be producing a programme of meetings for both space operations specialists and subject matter novices and will be able to support the development of collaborative ideas through project and part graduate student funding. Details of our first workshop will be announced in the next month.

If you are an academic with no direct experience but have knowledge of areas such as observations, data analysis, simulation or even law, then register your interest on our website. If you are a currently working in the space sector or if you are just interested in the aims and goals of the network please also register your interest and get involved.

SWIMMR: A £19.9M programme of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund

Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) is a £19.9M programme of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund.

MIST would like draw the attention of the research community to the potential opportunities which will become available as a result of this programme, which received final approval from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in August. The programme will run from now until March 2023 and is aimed at improving the UK’s capabilities for space weather monitoring and prediction. UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund provides a means for linking research council investment to governmental research priorities, hence the areas being emphasised in the programme reflect space weather threats to critical infrastructure, as reflected in the UK national risk register.

The programme will be delivered jointly by the STFC and NERC, mainly through open grant calls, but including some elements of commissioned work to be delivered through open competitive tenders. The first calls are expected to appear during the coming weeks. More information about the programme is available through the RAL Space website, and is forthcoming from the NERC web site.

To mark the official launch of the programme and provide more details of the planned activities, a kick-off meeting is being held in the Wolfson Library of the Royal Society on Tuesday 26 November 2019, from 10:30. Pre-registration is required for this event and can be done using this link. We hope that many of you will be able to attend.

MIST Charter

At the 2007 Spring MIST meeting it was agreed that rather than a single MIST co-ordinator, MIST Council should be formed to organise and manage MIST activities. It was hoped that MIST Council would energise the MIST community whilst improving the visibility and impact of MIST science. The first MIST Council developed a charter, which now acts as a guiding document as to both the activities of the community and MIST Council.

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial science community (MIST)

Charter Statement

Last amended 1 April 2019

Article I – What is MIST?

1.1 This is the charter for the Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial science community, also known as "MIST". It is a community of UK-based scientists with interests in physical processes within the Sun-Earth system, other solar system bodies and exo-planets; in particular the solar/stellar wind, moons and planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres.

1.2 MIST is recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) as a specialist group and as such is affiliated to the RAS.

Article II – Purpose

2.1  Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among MIST scientists, students and other parties interested in MIST related science to advance our understanding of the energy transfer from the Sun through the solar system and associated subjects.

2.2  Promote our science and interests to the public, wider scientific community and other stakeholders in MIST.

2.3  Conduct meetings to advance the state of knowledge of MIST related science and to promote and facilitate the sharing of ideas and techniques between members of the MIST community.

2.4  Distribute relevant information to its members via the MIST website, MIST mailing lists or other appropriate methods.

2.5  Promote discussions of programmatic issues relevant to the development of MIST related science.

2.6  To provide a means of influencing UK policy on MIST related science.

Article III – Membership

3.1  Any UK-based individual who is an active scientist in a MIST related science and who joins the MIST mailing list is considered a part of the MIST community. Active scientists based in other countries are also welcome to join the MIST mailing list and will be considered a part of the MIST community.

3.2  Any individual who is interested in supporting MIST related science who joins the MIST mailing list is considered a part of the MIST community.

3.3 Membership of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) is not required for membership of MIST, but is encouraged.

Article IV – MIST Council

4.1  MIST council is the collective term for the officers of MIST and consists of six individuals from the MIST community.

4.2  MIST council is responsible for ensuring that MIST fulfills its purpose as outlined in Article II.

4.3  MIST council will elect one member to act as Chair of MIST council. All other roles and responsibilities of the individual members of the council are decided by the council; these are reviewed after each election (including the Chair of MIST council). Possible roles are outlined in Appendix 1.

4.4  A minimum of one MIST council meeting will be held each year. Other meetings may be called by the Chair, or a majority of the council members. The MIST council may meet and transact business by telephone conference call or email. Formal MIST councils require at least three members to participate.

4.5  The MIST council may, from time to time, charter additional members or subcommittees to address specific issues and business with specified portfolios.

4.6  MIST council can be removed from office via a vote of no confidence from the MIST community. To facilitate a confidence vote an extraordinary MIST business meeting must be called (by any member of the MIST community) if more than 10% of the MIST community (defined as 10% of the people subscribed to the MIST mailing list) is in agreement. The meeting must be held within a month of the announcement at an agreed venue. The complete MIST council will be removed if 2/3 of the meeting attendees declare no confidence in the MIST council.

Article V – MIST Elections

5.1  Members of MIST council serve terms of three years.

5.2 Elections will be announced at the Spring MIST meeting and voting must begin within two months of the Spring MIST meeting. Two slots on MIST council will be open in a given normal election year.

5.3  In a normal election the MIST council will appoint one (or more) member(s) of the MIST community to act as returning officer. The returning officer will not be eligible for election to MIST council and can be a current member of MIST council who is not seeking re-election.

5.4  Elections for the position of MIST council member will be held via an internet poll or electronic mail at the discretion of the returning officer. All members of the MIST community must be offered the opportunity to vote.

5.5  The returning officer will solicit nominations from the MIST community. Members of the MIST community can self nominate. To be eligible for election nominated candidates must be based in the UK. In the absence of a nomination MIST council reserves the right to co-opt members of the MIST community to serve on MIST council.

5.6  Upon closure of nominations, the returning officer will prepare the ballot and publicize the ballot to all members of the MIST community via the MIST mailing list and the MIST web page. The ballot will contain candidate names alphabetical by family name and home institute. The returning officer will allow for at least one month between electronic mailing and the election deadline.

5.7  Those candidates receiving the most valid votes will be elected to MIST council. In the case of a tie the position on MIST council will be decided by the drawing of lots by those candidates with a tied number of votes.

5.8  Members of MIST council can stand for election for only two consecutive terms.There is no restriction on the absolute number of times that a member of the MIST community can stand for election.

5.9  A MIST council member can resign his/her position at any time by writing to the MIST council chair stating their intention to resign. MIST council will then co-opt a member of the MIST community to sit on council for the remainder of the resigning member’s term.

Article VI – MIST Meetings

6.1 Spring MIST and Autumn MIST meetings will be held each year. The Spring MIST meeting will be held in the spring or summer, and the Autumn MIST meeting will be held in the autumn.

6.2  A MIST business meeting will be held annually, usually during the Spring MIST meeting. This meeting is open to the entire MIST community.

6.3  Minutes from MIST council and business meetings will be taken and made public on the MIST website.

6.4  MIST will provide an on-line forum to allow ongoing discussions and the formulation of ideas prior to public dissemination. This forum will be private, visible only to registered members; membership is restricted to active MIST scientists and is offered at the discretion of MIST council chair.

6.5  From time to time MIST council has the authority to call for a meeting of active MIST scientists to discuss programmatic issues. Each meeting shall decide on the form of meeting outputs and how they shall be disseminated.

Article VII – Amendment of Charter Statement

7.1  This charter statement can only be modified following consideration of the amendment by the MIST community.

7.2  Any member of the MIST community can offer a suggestion to amend the MIST charter. Any suggestion to amend must include the proposed text of the amendment.

7.3  Suggested amendments must first be put to the MIST council who will vote on whether to put the motion to amend to the MIST community.

7.4  Once a motion to amend passes MIST council it must be put to the community via electronic mail or an internet poll.

7.5 If greater than 10% of the MIST community (defined as 10% of the people subscribed to the MIST mailing list) votes against the motion to amend, the motion is not carried.

 

Appendix 1

Potential roles and responsibilities within MIST council:

  • Council chair
  • Web-site design and upkeep
  • Spring MIST meeting co-ordinator
  • Autumn MIST meeting co-ordinator
  • MIST mailing list moderator
  • Public relations and press releases