ST1.6

The neutron monitor network: challenges and future perspective
Convener: Athanasios Papaioannou | Co-conveners: Ilya Usoskin, Christian T. Steigies, Alexander Mishev, David Ruffolo

Since the late 1950’s the neutron monitor (NM) network provides continuous measurements of the cosmic ray (CR) environment, shading light upon the physical mechanisms of solar relativistic ion acceleration, injection and propagation during Ground Level Enhancements (GLEs), as well as the effect of large scale structures (i.e. interplanetary coronal mass ejections – ICMEs and corotating interaction regions – CIRs) propagating in the solar wind resulting in short-term decreases of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), termed as Forbush decreases (FDs) and the long-term behavior of CRs. Since 2008, the majority of NMs provide data through a single repository, the Neutron Monitor Database (NMDB), making it straightforward for the scientific community to retrieve such data. The NM network has paved the way for the understanding of the near-Earth and the inner heliosphere radiation environment and corroborates with the findings of spacecraft missions, specifically recent measurements of high energy particles from PAMELA, AMS onboard the International Space Station and EPHIN onboard SOHO. At the same time, the network of NMs is extensively used for the establishment of space-weather related services, such as alerts of GLEs and estimations of the radiation environment within the atmosphere, the magnetosphere and beyond. Also, new detectors and electronics expand the current NM network whereas algorithms for the treatment of the data are being investigated.
With a view to the future, the NM network faces challenges with respect to its sustainability, evolution, continuous and updated usage by the scientific community. Nonetheless, the future perspectives of the network are promising, with the NM data being used in a large variety of fields – even non-conventional ones. This session brings together scientists from research fields related to space, solar, neutron monitor, heliospheric and atmospheric sciences. The session solicits contributions related but not limited to:
• Modeling of GLEs, short term FDs and GCRs modulation;
• Long-term variability of the CR flux from ground based and spacecraft measurements;
• Evaluation and quantification of the radiation environment in the inner heliosphere and the Earth’s atmosphere;
• Space-weather services based on the NM network;
• Influence of solar activity and the effect of cosmic rays on the atmosphere;
• Instrumentation, algorithms and data access for ground-based CR detectors.