SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) Kick-Off meeting

October 30, 2019, from Richard Morton

SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) is a £20 million, four-year programme that will improve the UK’s capabilities for space weather monitoring and prediction. There will be an emphasis on space radiation, which can affect aircraft systems, changes in the upper atmosphere, affecting communications, and surges in the current in power grids and other ground-level systems. These are significant risks to the infrastructures we rely on in daily life and are recorded in the UK’s National Risk Register.

SWIMMR will develop and deploy new instruments, models and services to support the UK space weather community and the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre. This programme will significantly add to the UK’s capability to predict and mitigate the hazards of space weather, as well as providing a basis for wider international collaboration over the four year lifetime of the proposal and beyond.

The funding forms part of the Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF), delivered by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) to drive an increase in high quality multi- and interdisciplinary research and innovation. It will ensure that UKRI’s investment links up effectively with government research priorities and opportunities. The programme is a collaboration led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) with NERC and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence. The programme has been outlined in close association with the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC).

The programme will be delivered through a series of activities managed by either STFC or NERC. The STFC funding component will be delivered via a mixture of open calls for research projects and commissioned work under standard public sector procurement rules. Both types of activity will directly help improve the ability of the Met Office to predict space weather events so as to reduce their potential impact.

Programme News
The SWIMMR kick off meeting will be held on 26th November 2019 in the Wolfson Library of the Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG, starting at 11:00 am (coffee available from 10:30 am).

Pre-registration for the event is required, as capacity is limited. To register, please use go to the Eventbrite registration page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swimmr-project-kick-off-meeting-tickets-78980315249

Some more information about this programme, which will run until March 2023, is now available through the web sites of NERC (https://nerc.ukri.org/research/funded/programmes/sfp-swimmr/) and STFC RAL Space (https://www.ralspace.stfc.ac.uk/Pages/SWIMMR.aspx).