2021 Workshop:Grand Challenge Initiative MLT

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Grand Challenge Initiative Mesosphere / Lower Thermosphere

Location, Date/Time and Duration

1.5-2 hours


Kolbjorn Blix
Douglas Rowland
Gerald Lehmacher

Workshop Categories

Altitudes: MLT - Latitudes: polar - Inst/Model: optical - Other: Mid- and equatorial latitudes in addition to polar

Format of the Workshop

Short Presentations

Estimated attendance


Requested Specific Days

June 22nd, 10:00 - 12:00 AM Eastern US (17:00 - 19:00 CET)

Special technology requests


According to the GCI M/LT white paper the project is planned to start in 2023 (delayed due to COVID-19) with the VortEx campaign. This gives us a perfect opportunity to plan complementary and new campaigns during and after VortEX. The white paper has entries from 9 nations on possible science topics, technologies, platforms, ground based observatories and potential research partners. To ensure the best possible scientific outcome and value for the funding institutions money, we should use this workshop to do short (5 min) presentations (either live or pre-recorded) on proposed/planned experiments/campaigns and allow discussions/comments. During our CEDAR 2020 workshop the organizers proposed the formation of a GCI M/LT PI-coordination group, as well as time/place/type of follow-up meeting. It's now time to follow up one those actions.


This is the second planning meeting to discuss science investigations and topics as well as logistics planning for the upcoming Grand Challenge Initiative -- Mesosphere/Lower Thermosphere (GCI-MLT). GCI-MLT is a follow on to the successful GCI-Cusp campaign which has been ongoing since Dec 2018. GCI-MLT will have an expanded scope, with more international participation, a more geographically diverse set of observations, and more diversity in platforms (ground-based, balloon, aircraft, rocket, satellite) to address critical problems in MLT physics. GCI-MLT is an "umbrella" designed to coordinate and provide synergies for projects that will be funded through regular funding agencies. GCI-MLT does not provide funding, but it does provide a way for us all to work together and maximize the impact of our research. We will discuss status on existing and potential plans for investigations that may fit into the GCI-MLT. We work towards forming GCI-MLT around several existing rocket and balloon missions, and then developing proposals for other investigations (ground-based, balloon, rocket, aircraft, satellite) that will fit around these "anchor" missions. Of particular interest for this meeting are proposals for balloon, rocket, and aircraft investigations that may have been proposed to European, Japanese and US space agencies in fall 2020, and subsequently plans for such proposals in 2021.

More info on the Grand Challenge Initiative CUSP (predecessor) & M/LT: https://www.grandchallenge.no/

Workshop Summary

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