The proposed sensor network and data assimilation system -essentially a distributed observatory equipped with forecasting tools- is a response to conspicuous community needs to understand the day to- day variability and stability of the low-latitude ionosphere and to make forecasts on a regional basis:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Space Weather community seeks to improve global ionospheric specification and forecasts, emphasizing the needs of communication and navigation systems. With NASA participation, the US Air Force C/NOFS satellite intends to advance understanding of the equatorial ionosphere as a basis for forecasting scintillation-producing ESF irregularities. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing a WAAS system with ionospheric corrections, to improve the availability, accuracy and integrity of single-frequency GPS navigation. Our proposed distributed observatory will enhance each of these programs with its unique data and science.
For this purpose we have the value collaboration of Instituto Geofísico del Peru (IGP) and Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) located in Lima that are the central node of the sensor network; they will also store and disseminate the results of the ITE/EnKF data assimilation through a website dedicated to the LISN project.
The broader impacts of our plan arise from the international character of the proposed activities. The distributed observatory will foster collaboration with scientists and visiting post-doctoral from 10 different countries and help the development of national scientific infrastructure in the region.
The Boston College (BC) PI Dr. Valladares and the Space Environment Corporation (SEC) PI Dr. Eccles are responsible for all management aspects of this work. Other participants of the development of the distributed observatory are Dr. Woodman from the Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP) and Dr. Kudeki from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will act as consultants to SEC.