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The SMART Theory and Modeling Team: An Integrated Element of Mission Development and Science AnalysisWhen targeting physical understanding of space plasmas, our focus is gradually shifting away from discovery-type investigations to missions and studies that address our basic understanding of processes we know to be important. For these studies, theory and models provide physical predictions that need to be verified or falsified by empirical evidence. Within this paradigm, a tight integration between theory, modeling, and space flight mission design and execution is essential. NASA's Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission is a pathfinder in this new era of space research. The prime objective of MMS is to understand magnetic reconnection, arguably the most fundamental of plasma processes. In particular, MMS targets the microphysical processes, which permit magnetic reconnection to operate in the collisionless plasmas that permeate space and astrophysical systems. More specifically, MMS will provide closure to such elemental questions as how particles become demagnetized in the reconnection diffusion region, which effects determine the reconnection rate, and how reconnection is coupled to environmental conditions such as magnetic shear angles. Solutions to these problems have remained elusive in past and present spacecraft missions primarily due to instrumental limitations - yet they are fundamental to the large-scale dynamics of collisionless plasmas. Owing to the lack of measurements, most of our present knowledge of these processes is based on results from modern theory and modeling studies of the reconnection process. Proper design and execution of a mission targeting magnetic reconnection should include this knowledge and have to ensure that all relevant scales and effects can be resolved by mission measurements. The SMART mission has responded to this need through a tight integration between instrument and theory and modeling teams. Input from theory and modeling is fed into all aspects of science mission design, and theory and modeling activities are tailored to SMART needs during mission development and science analysis. In this presentation, we will present an overview of SMART theory and modeling team activities. In particular, we will provide examples of science objectives derived from state-of-the art models, and of recent research results that continue to be utilized in SMART mission development.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hesse, Michael (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Birn, J. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM, United States)
Denton, Richard E. (Dartmouth Coll. Hanover, NH, United States)
Drake, J. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Gombosi, T. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Hoshino, M. (Tokyo Univ. Japan)
Matthaeus, B. (Delaware Univ. Newark, DE, United States)
Sibeck, D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
2005 American Geophysical Union Meeting(San Francisco, CA)
Distribution Limits