Elements of SHIELD Research Model


The vision of the Solar wind with Hydrogen Ion charge Exchange and Large-Scale Dynamics (SHIELD) DRIVE Science Center (DSC) is to understand the nature and structure of the heliosphere.

Research Thrusts:

  1. What is the global structure of the heliosphere? 
  2. How do pickup ions evolve from cradle to grave, and how do they affect heliospheric processes?
  3. How does the heliosphere interact with and influence the interstellar medium? 
  4. How are cosmic rays filtered by and transported through the heliosphere?

Benefits and potential impacts of successful research:

The heliosphere is an immense shield that protects the solar system from harsh galactic radiation. This radiation affects both life on Earth and human space exploration. The heliosphere is a window into processes occurring in all other astrospheres. Understanding these processes enables predictions about the astrospheric conditions necessary to create habitable planets.