Exploring Where Earth's Weather Meets Space Weather

world map ICON will investigate the effect of Earth weather on space weather.

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be the newest addition to NASA’s fleet of Heliophysics satellites. Led by UC Berkeley, scientists and engineers around the world are coming together to make ICON a reality.

The goal of the ICON mission is to understand the tug-of-war between Earth’s atmosphere and the space environment. In the "no mans land" of the ionosphere, a continuous struggle between solar forcing and Earth’s weather systems drive extreme and unpredicted variability. ICON will investigate the forces at play in the near-space environment, leading the way in understanding disturbances that can lead to severe interference with communications and GPS signals.

 

Latest News

The Start of ICON

Research reveals how much we’d been missing of our connection to space

Dr. Thomas Immel 0 244

Earth’s ionosphere is chemically and dynamically complex—energized and stirred up by the aurora at the poles, concentrated and unstable at the equator. ICON focuses on this region because it is the place where coupling between our atmosphere and our space environment really occurs.  Our understanding of this relationship has come from almost a century of measurements, first from the ground and later from space.

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ICON skin is based on Greytness by Adammer
Background image, courtesy of NASA, is a derivitave of photograph taken by D. Pettit from the ISS, used under Creative Commons licence