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SFF-Sentre for fremragende forskn

Birkeland Center for Space Science (BCSS)

Alternative title: Birkelandsenteret for romforskning

Awarded: NOK 160.0 mill.

This presentation is what the centre leader wrote as an introduction to the report that covers the years 2013 to 2023. Overview of our achievements during the 10 years can be found in that report, and can be downloaded from: https://birkeland.uib.no/ ------- Unlike the 9 previous annual reports (from 2013 to 2021), this report will cover the entire life of Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS). We will present what we consider as the main achievements regarding: 1. Scientific breakthroughs and highlights 2. The promotion of these breakthroughs and highlights to the general public 3. Scientific leadership nationally and internationally 4. Instrument development both for space and on ground 5. New generation of space scientists The main ideas for BCSS were born during a brain-storming session between Jesper Gjerløv, Kjellmar Oksavik, and myself on a weekend in early 2011. Both Jesper Gjerløv and Kjellmar Oksavik had just been hired to join the space physics group at the University of Bergen (UIB). The hiring of the two new professors was a strategic decision made by the institute leader (Geir Anton Johansen) in response to the very good outcome for our group in the decadal evaluation of all physics groups in Norway the year before. In that Evaluation, our group came out at the very top, due to its well-defined scientific strategy, many excellent students and decades of heritage in designing and building space instruments at UIB. Important people for this heritage are Professors Emiriti Johan Stadnses an Finn Sørås, who have also been active members of BCSS. Based on the existing strategy at the time plus input from the new Professors we defined, during that weekend, the main scientific questions for BCSS, identified the expertise we needed for resolving these questions and the people that we needed to get on board. The next move was to involve the collaboration that was already established a few years earlier between UIB (Hilde Tyssøy) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Patrick Espy) and finally, to get the space group at The University Centre In Svalbard (UNIS) on board with all the ground-based instrumentation they operate at Svalbard. With this team, we formulated the brave vision of BCSS and claimed that we would be a Centre of Excellence (CoE) if we received the long-term funding that was offered by the Norwegian Research Council (NRC). As we all know, we “made it” and were one among the 13 new centres that were awarded the 10 year funding from NRC with a start-up in 2013. Including the in-kind contributions from UIB, NTNU and UNIS, BCSS has had a budget of about 500 million NOK from 2013-2023. The purpose of the Centre of Excellence program is to give long-term predictable funding, which will enable the scientists to work strategically to answer important scientific questions with large impact for the scientific community as a whole. By doing this, also make discoveries and present new ways to understand scientific problems and present paradigm shifts if needed. All the scientific questions presented in the BCSS application focused on unresolved important groundbreaking nature and would potentially result in groundbreaking science. Already during the first few years, BCSS was doing pretty well, but as the head of our Science Advisory Board, Alan Rodger (deceased 2019) pointed out in 2015: we had not yet reached the rank of “excellence”; the Centre was still only "outstanding” at that time. He changed his mind a few years later when we managed to make some real scientific breakthroughs. The report you are now about to read is our documentation of what we have achieved in science, leadership, outreach, education …etc, during these ten years. Then, you can judge for yourself, if Alan Rodger was right when he concluded that we finally reached the goal of being ”excellent”, and if we deserved to have the long-term funding of a CoE. Although clear leadership for such a big project as BCSS is important, the achievements of BCSS are not the results of just one or a few people´s efforts, but the effort of all the people involved in BCSS. So, for the last time, I thank all the members of BCSS for your good hard work during all these ten exceptional years. I also hope that what we have achieved during these ten years have created a good foundation and momentum for the continuation of scientific excellence in Norwegian Space Physics. Nikolai Østgaard, Leader of BCSS (2013-2023).

Dette blir sendt under "special reports"

English version The Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS) will combine theoretical understanding, data analysis and instrument development to attack the primary and secondary objectives listed above. The centre will have world leading scientists in gl obal auroral imaging, ground-based magnetic/radar/optical techniques, theoretical understanding/modelling of plasma, and in designing/constructing space and ground-based instrumentation. Main deliverables are: 1) Determination of the degree and importance of asymmetries in the two polar regions to understand the complexity of the Sun-Earth system 2) A comprehensive data set of ground based measurements of current systems 3) Parameterization of the Birkeland currents on fine spatial and temporal scales, t o be used in MI coupling models 4) Parameterization of the temperature and chemical effects of energetic particles (from above and below) in the stratosphere and mesosphere, to be used in atmospheric and climate models 5) The most comprehensive set of TGF observations from new experiments 6) A model and a theory for the production mechanism of TGFs BCSS will: 1) Maximize the utilization of existing Norwegian infrastructure at Svalbard, Northern Norway as well as large investments in Cluster and ASIM. 2) Strengthen the international position of the Norwegian space physics community by making significant progress on compelling science questions 3) Bridge the historical gap between scientists focusing on the atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere ther eby enabling the cross disciplinary science that is known to provide breakthrough discoveries. 4) Initiate a unique collaboration between space physicists (BCSS) and climate researchers (Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research). 5) Strengthen and further exp and our capability to develop and build state-of-the-art instrumentation for space. 6) Educate and position the next generation of Norwegian space physics scientists through ambitious educational and public outreach components Norwegian version Hovedspø rsmålet senteret skal besvare "Hvordan er jorden koplet til verdensrommet?" er ikke et nytt spørsmål, men det finnes fundamentale mangler i vår forståelse av hvordan dette henger sammen. Vi har utdypet dette gjennom fire underspørsmål. 1) Når og hvorfor e r det asymmetri mellom nordlys og sørlys? Mesteparten av vår kunnskap om hvordan de to polarregionene er koplet til rommet er basert på målinger på den nordlige halvkule, og man har antatt at den sørlige er et speilbilde av den nordlige. Vi vet nå at dette ikke er tilfelle, noe som åpner helt nye spørsmål om hvordan jorda er koplet til rommet. 2) Hvordan kan vi forbedre våre nåværende grove modeller av ionosfæren? Når vekselvirkningen mellom solvinden, magnetosfæren og ionosfæren skal modelleres, benytter man modeller av strømsystemer i ionosfæren fra 1970-tallet. Dette gir ionosfæriske grensebetingelser som er gyldige på store skalaer og i et statisk bilde. Men slik er det ikke i virkeligheten. Strømsystemene i ionosfæren er dynamiske og opererer på mange skalaer. 3) Hvilken effekt har partikkelnedbør på det atmosfæriske systemet? Energirike partikler som bombarderer jordas atmosfære avsetter sin energi dypt nede i atmosfæren i området som kalles mesosfæren, eller "ignorosfæren" fordi så lite er kjent om denne delen av atmosfæren. Denne partikkelnedbøren påvirker både temperatur og kjemi i atmosfæren. Dette kan være viktig for forståelsen av klimautviklingen. Her vil vi innledesamarbeid med klimaforskere ved Bjerknessenteret. 4) Hvilken rolle spiller ene rgirike partikler som blir sendt ut fra tordenværsområder? For 20 år siden oppdaget man at det produseres gammastråling i tordenværsystemer. For et par år siden ble det ved hjelp av lavbane-satellitter oppdaget at også relativistiske elektroner og positro ner produseres i forbindelse med lynaktivitet. Sterke elektriske felt er åpenbart involvert, men nøyaktig hvordan gammastråling og relativistiske partikler blir produsert, hvor ofte det skjer, og hvilken betydning disse har for temperatur og kjemi i atmos færen, er ikke kjent. Birkelandsenteret vil kombinere teoretisk forståelse, dataanalyse og instrumentutvikling for å angripe disse spørsmålene. Senteret består av verdensledende forskere innen global nordlysavbildning, bakkebaserte magnetfelt/radar/optisk e måle-teknikker, teoretisk forståelse/modellering av plasma, og design/bygging av bakke-og rom-instrumentering. Senteret vil levere: 1) En bestemmelse av graden og viktigheten av asymmetrier i polarlyset I de to polare områdene for å oppnå en mer fullstendig forståelse av det komplekse sol-jord systemet 2) Et omfattende datasett med bakkebaserte malinger av feltrettete og ionosfæriske strømsystemer 3) Modell av Birkeland strømmer på relevante tids- og romlige skalaer til bruk i magnetosfære-ionosfære kop lingsmodeller 4) Modell av temperatur- og kjemiske effekter fra energirike partikler (ovenfra og nedenfra) I stratosfæren og mesosfæren til b

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SFF-Sentre for fremragende forskn