Whitepaper #069 in the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033. Main topics: basic research; infrastructure/workforce/other programmatic. Additional topics: planetary ionospheres / upper atmospheres; research tools and infrastructure.
Looking toward the future, it is important to consider technological and programmatic solutions that will enable exploration of the woefully underexplored region of Earth’s atmosphere from ~80 to ~160 km altitude. A range of potential solutions are possible from orbital to suborbital missions, but require technological development and programmatic changes.