Whitepaper #323 in the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033. Main topics: space weather applications; basic research. Additional topics: space weather research/applications/operations pipeline; planetary ionospheres / upper atmospheres; […]
Drag-derived neutral density datasets are valuable to the scientific exploration of the thermosphere as well as to monitoring of the low Earth orbit environment. We discuss challenges in developing and utilizing these datasets stemming from uncertainties in satellite aerodynamic parameters. We then present potential research pathways for addressing these challenges.