The stated goal of LWS, that of achieving an understanding of those aspects of the Sun-Earth system that have direct impact on life and society, poses two great challenges for the TR&T program. First, the TR&T must tackle large-scale problems that cross discipline and technique (e.g., data analysis, theory, modeling, etc.) boundaries; and second, the TR&T must identify how this new understanding will have a direct impact on life and society. To address these requirements, the TR&T Steering Committee identifies a set of Focused Science Topics to be emphasized each year. In addition, NASA desires a balance of research investigation techniques for each Topic, including theory, modeling, data analysis, observations, and simulations. Once selected, these investigators will form a team in order to coordinate their research programs (similar to the PIs selected for a NASA hardware mission who form a coordinated science working group). These teams will define a plan for structuring their work into an integrated research program that ideally will address the Focused Science Topic in a much more complete way than any one investigation could by itself. These teams will also define success measures and deliverables for their integrated program, develop strategies for disseminating their results to the science community and NASA, and prepare an integrated final Team Report at the end of the three-year duration of the selected investigations.
The FSTs coordinate large-scale investigations that cross discipline and technique boundaries leading to an understanding of the system linking the Sun to the Solar System both directly and via the heliosphere, planetary magnetospheres, and ionospheres (terrestrial upper atmosphere?)