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Introduction to VEPO

The Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory (VEPO) serves the heliophysics data user community as a focus group component for improved discovery, access, understandability, and usability of energetic particle data products from selected spacecraft and sub-orbital instruments within the VEPO Data Source Environment.

The VEPO Team is applying long expertise with a wide range of energetic particle instrumentation to describe and register key data products. The VEPO focus group of heliospheric scientists from multiple institutions is heavily engaged in defining how the "lingua franca" of heliophysics virtual observatories, the Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) language, should evolve for improved applicability to energetic particle data products from heliospheric spacecraft.

VEPO is designed to serve user community interest in energetic particle data products relevant to sources, transport, acceleration, and planetary interactions of energetic charged and neutral particles originating from solar, heliospheric, and interstellar acceleration processes.

The "energetic particle" regime is defined here as extending from keV energies of the suprathermal tails of bulk plasma flow distributions to GeV energies of galactic cosmic rays significantly affected by heliospheric modulation. The spatial range of relevant in-situ data sources (the symbolic dragons of our banner) extends from the inner heliosphere inwards of 1 AU to the geospace environment outside the Earth's magnetosphere, the outer heliospheric boundary regions now being probed by the Voyager spacecraft, and ultimately the local interstellar space environment accessible to in-situ and remote measurements beyond the heliopause.

This project is led by the Heliospheric Physics Laboratory of the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The VEPO team leverages existing services of Goddard's Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) and collaborates with data source services presently including the ACE Science Center (ASC), the Stereo Science Center (SSC), the Ulysses Final Archive (UFA), the multi-mission on-line archives of Fundamental Technologies, LLC, and web sites and interfaces of other mission project and instrument teams. Since energetic particles can flow easily across boundary regions between diverse heliophysical domains, VEPO will maintain interoperability on exchange of information on energetic particle data products with other related virtual observatories including the Heliophysics Data Portal and the Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO).

We invite the U.S. and international heliophysics communities to utilize the VEPO query system, but be careful what you search for, you may find it. Please comment on usability of the interface, completeness of the data product documentation, and usability of the data for your research. Data providers, as identified within the documentation, and VEPO should be acknowledged in publications and presentations. Send us complete bibliographic citations of work utilizing these data products and we will post selections of these citations as research guides for other users.

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Virtual Energetic Particle Observatory