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DARPA to Explore Near-Earth Space Environment Forecasting Concepts

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has introduced a program to explore concepts and tools to predict near-Earth space conditions within a one-hour to 72-hour timeframe.

DARPA said Tuesday it will hold a Proposers Day on July 31 in Arlington, Va., to provide details of the agency’s Space Environment Exploitation program.

“We currently have capability to predict and track big space weather events like sun spots, coronal mass ejections, or solar winds that can wreak havoc on critical space assets in higher space orbits,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. David Lewis, a DARPA program manager.

Lewis added the agency cannot predict local and smaller space environment disturbances near the planet such as magnetic substorms and auroral-E activity that can interfere with space-based and ground assets.

The SEE program seeks to explore forecasting concepts that would apply existing ground- and satellite-based data, as well as develop non-traditional sensing concepts and sensors.

DARPA plans to examine machine learning and training methods in an effort to virtually extend the life of satellite measurements and increase the number of satellites virtually for sampling.

The agency noted it will seek technical expertise in ion, magnet and thermospheric physics and chemistry; scalar, tensor and vector computer processing science and engineering; machine learning or training; and system integration.

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