Vision: The vision of the Solar wind with Hydrogen Ion charge Exchange and Large-Scale Dynamics (SHIELD) DRIVE Science Center (DSC) is to understand the nature and structure of the heliosphere.
Research objectives: To achieve this goal, this DSC answers the following questions:
- What is the global structure of the heliosphere?
- How do pickup ions evolve from “cradle to grave” and affect heliospheric processes?
- How does the heliosphere interact with and influence the local interstellar medium (LISM)?
- How do cosmic rays get filtered by and transported through the heliosphere?
Benefits and potential impacts of successful research: The heliosphere is an immense shield that protects the solar system from harsh galactic radiation. This radiation affects both life on Earth and human space exploration. The heliosphere is a window into processes occurring in all other astrospheres. Understanding these processes enables predictions about the astrospheric conditions necessary to create habitable planets.