Science of the Van Allen Probes Science Operations Centers

Jerry W. Manweiler, Aaron W Breneman, Jonathan Niehof, Brian Larsen, Giuseppe Romeo, Grant Stephens, Alexa Halford, Craig Kletzing, Lawrence E. Brown, Harlan Spence, Geoff Reeves, Reiner Friedel, Sonya Smith, Ruth Skoug, Bern Blake, Dan Baker, Shri Kanekal, Vaughn Hoxie, Allison Jaynes, John WygantJohn Bonnell, Danielle Crawford, Matina Gkioulidou, Louis J. Lanzerotti, Donald G. Mitchell, Andrew Gerrard, Aleksandr Ukhorskiy, Thomas Sotirelis, Robin J. Barnes, Robyn Millan, Blaine Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Van Allen Probes mission operations materialized through a distributed model in which operational responsibility was divided between the Mission Operations Center (MOC) and separate instrument specific SOCs. The sole MOC handled all aspects of telemetering and receiving tasks as well as certain scientifically relevant ancillary tasks. Each instrument science team developed individual instrument specific SOCs proficient in unique capabilities in support of science data acquisition, data processing, instrument performance, and tools for the instrument team scientists. In parallel activities, project scientists took on the task of providing a significant modeling tool base usable by the instrument science teams and the larger scientific community. With a mission as complex as Van Allen Probes, scientific inquiry occurred due to constant and significant collaboration between the SOCs and in concert with the project science team. Planned cross-instrument coordinated observations resulted in critical discoveries during the seven-year mission. Instrument cross-calibration activities elucidated a more seamless set of data products. Specific topics include post-launch changes and enhancements to the SOCs, discussion of coordination activities between the SOCs, SOC specific analysis software, modeling software provided by the Van Allen Probes project, and a section on lessons learned. One of the most significant lessons learned was the importance of the original decision to implement individual team SOCs providing timely and well-documented instrument data for the NASA Van Allen Probes Mission scientists and the larger magnetospheric and radiation belt scientific community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Data analysis
  • ECT
  • EFW
  • Magnetosphere
  • NASA
  • Ring current
  • Science operations centers
  • Space physics
  • Van Allen probes
  • Van Allen probes gateway


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