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Science Working Group Charter

UPDATE: 23 March 2011


The purpose of the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission Science Working Group (SWG) is to aid NASA in maximizing the scientific return of the mission within the existing resources.  The working group will consider scientific challenges facing the mission and offer options for resolving those challenges within existing mission resources.  In this capacity the SWG will work closely with the MMS project in formulating and implementing the MMS mission.
The SWG is chartered by the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters and provides scientific and technical findings to the MMS Project Scientist and the MMS Project Manager.  SWG members are expected to have expert knowledgeable in space plasma physics relevant to the scientific objectives for MMS.


The Solving Magnetospheric Acceleration, Reconnection, and Turbulence (SMART) Principal Investigator (PI) will chair the SWG. The MMS Project Scientist will be vice-chair of the SWG. In addition to the chair and vice-chair, the membership of the MMS SWG will be composed of the following:
1.    the five SMART Instrument Team Leaders, the SMART Theory and Modeling Team Lead, the SMART Burst Mode Lead, the SMART Science Operations Center Lead, and the SMART Science Operations Team Lead.
2.    Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDS), selected via ROSES-2005 Appendix A.32 that are tasked by the SWG with specific deliverables. These IDS, serve as members of the MMS SWG in addition to conducting science investigations addressing the MMS science objectives independently of the SMART science efforts.
The Heliophysics Director at NASA HQ, in consultation with the MMS Program Scientist, will approve changes to the SWG membership.  Appointments generally will be for the duration of the SWG which is expected to function throughout the lifetime of the MMS mission.


The SWG will work closely with the MMS project and report on issues affecting the scientific return of the MMS mission. Anticipated activities include, but are not limited to:  

  1. The refinement, as necessary, of the MMS science goals, taking into account the effects of altering mission design and/or observatory parameters (orbit, mission duration, instrument complement, etc.) on the achievement of MMS science goals,
  2. The refinement of science requirements and performance metrics and objectives for the MMS instrumentation, software, operations, and other aspects of the program,
  3. The refinement of science plans and the philosophy for defining and conducting the science program,
  4. Recommendation of solutions to technical and resource problems encountered at any time during the mission.

The SWG will support the MMS Project in project reviews and will consult with the MMS Project in mission decisions as they relate to the scientific objectives. This consultation includes providing advice on design concepts and implementation plans relative to the overall scientific performance of the mission.
All decisions of importance regarding the achievement of MMS science will be made by NASA Headquarters in consultation with the MMS SWG and the MMS Project.


The SWG will meet at least once each year, usually in advance of any major project review.  Meeting agendas will be coordinated with the MMS Project and Program Scientists and will be responsive to requests from the MMS Project.


The SWG will report to NASA HQ via the MMS Project Scientist.  Records of SWG meetings, including summaries of findings, will be documented via a letter report following each SWG meeting.


The Goddard Space Flight Center MMS Project will provide logistic support for MMS SWG meetings held in the Washington, DC area; logistics for MMS SWG meetings held at institutions outside of the Washington DC area will be the responsibility of the host institution.  The compiling and distribution of meeting agendas, minutes, and findings will be the responsibility of the SWG Chair.  Travel for US members of the MMS SWG to SWG meetings will be funded through the SMART flight instrument contracts and Interdisciplinary Scientist grants.


The SWG will terminate on completion of the MMS mission.  The Charter will be evaluated every two years and may be renewed by the Heliophysics Director.  The SWG may be terminated otherwise at the discretion of the Heliophysics Director.  If the SWG terminates, all appointments to it also terminate.

Richard R. Fisher 
Director, Heliophysics Division

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