A Decade of Focus on the Sun – Calibrating Global Gravitational Sensor Networks using precisely modeled and tracked data on mass flows and changes in the sun.
I wrote a “Draft for Comment” document this morning you might find interesting. I have been trying to summarize the key Internet issues on global response to things like “covid” and “climate change”. Those are getting funding. So I am trying to recommend policies there that might help strengthen systems for other uses.
What to do about Covid on the Internet – Part I, Draft
The essence is “Would it be useful for all websites to index and curate their own sites, let some groups try to index and curate the whole, and all groups work together – topic by topic, issue by issue?” It is easy to say, many people can do an OK job of trying, and with some good examples, many can make it better than what we have now – an almost total mess.
I can simulate and estimate and model most global trends, issues, communities and industries. But I am at a point where refining models and estimates is balanced by lives lost. I feel I ought to be doing things and asking people to at least try. Another year and a half of this covid, and more millions of lives lost is not good. i have worked with population models for 50 years, and am used to death. But I take it personally when people die and I did not try my best.
I might be able to bring some global interest to solar astronomy. I am spread a little thin right now. But it would require finding and organizing precise models of granules and spicules and their associated data, and most of the ground based observatories. I don’t have the umph to push something like that alone. But it could give decent funding for a decade or two. Done well, it could be good for more than that.
“A Decade of Focus on the Sun” – to bring ALL groups on the Internet to focus everything that we measure and model about the sun and stars – into a form where it all fits together and is easy enough for everyone to use. Some new people might spend more time, but nothing would be missing, or if found lacking – mechanisms to find volunteers and resources. Measure and model the interior, calibrate and verify all models. find gaps and try to fill them. Open and auditable, complete. And enough work for the people already working and the next two generations of students that I am concerned about.
What I would like to do is see if the earth and space based gravitational sensors are collectively sensitive enough to track mass flows on the sun. I think they should be, but it would be a stretch for everyone. Since just setting up to try means cleaning up all the astrophysics sites (my requirement for the Interent ). A good distraction from all the world’s troubles. Throw in all the neutrino observatories, magnetic observatories, ionospheric groups, electromagnetic interference, radio telescope dark site monitors, all the gravitational sensors groups, many nonprofits, many universities. It is not hard to find the groups and topics and information. Just getting started is the hard part. I can come up with endless things that need doing, and help justify them. But I cannot do them myself.
I am often wrong on precise nuances. But I am seldom wrong on the whole, the direction and importance of things.
When I am evaluating natural and man-made sources of gravitational signals to use for calibrating gravimeters and gravitational potential sensors, the signals have to be precise in time and space, accessible to many different correlating sensor networks, and at sufficient cadence (bandwidth, frames per second, terabytes per day) to get decent statistics from noisy sensors pushed to their limit. So the solar observatories — across all frequencies down to the fundamentals for the whole of the sun’s time varying gravitational potential – can be tied together through the common elements of the many models. That includes the tiny, yet extremely precise signals from surface and atmospheric flows, mass ejections. Get the models together,the people who work on them, the datastreams that are required (including any that are available — I am thinking what you said about ALL qualities of data being useful)
A LOT of things are missing. And there are some good ways that have been proposed but left in bottom draws for a long time. [ To practice global coordination on an “easy problem” like calibrating the earth’s gravitational sensor networks using the complex and well studied and modeled mass flows and event on and in the sun. ] This is not true completely, but can be with some effort. And with a focus of ten or twenty years, that might be long enough to get it done pretty well.
Do you get what I am trying to do? Compared to medical virus stuff, astrophysics is easy. But what is learned about global coordination for astro and solar modeling and data integration will help the human species practice for the harder things like “detecting, modeling, controlling and domesticating viruses”.
We are used to justifying things on their complexity. But I am saying that physics and modeling a sun to the level needed to pick up tiny and complex gravitational signals, it is easier than covid or climate change. And the people trained are going to be a resource for the whole world, when other things need to be tried.
The sensors are mostly NOT able to do continuous detection and recording at time-of-flight rates. But most ALL the sensors on the planet can be coordinated to subnanosecond readings that are suitable for correlation. ( I am a mathematical statistician, so I say “correlation” rather then “interferometry”). The atom interferometer groups, Bose Einstein, some quantum detectors, many magnetic sensor networks. Here are some of them – GravityNotes.Org
Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation