The global nature of the heliosphere still eludes our understanding. SHIELD is developed from observations, expertise in kinetic physics and MHD physics.
Vision: The goal of this DSC is to develop a new predictive global model for the heliosphere. SHIELD (Solar wind with Hydrogen Ion charge Exchange and Large-Scale Dynamics) uses a combination of observations, theory, localized kinetic and MHD models to achieve this goal.
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.