Rutheford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, UK
Looking into the future of EISCAT is, as for any scientific facility or discipline, far from easy. Surprise discoveries can always render the most carefully laid plans obsolete. Nevertheless, it is clear that EISCAT must define a strategy that is closely allied to, and an integral part of mankind’s future major scientific themes if it is to maintain its leading position, its scientific community and its funding. This talk will investigate promising strategies aimed at themes that are well beyond the classical “solar-terrestrial physics” and “space weather” studies that have been at the heart of EISCAT research in the past. This talk will attempt to extrapolate some recent applications of EISCAT into potential programmes to develop, for example, the means to study the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets, to study the formation of our own solar system, to investigate the role of Langmuir turbulence in the cosmos and the role of middle atmosphere – troposphere coupling in a warming global climate system. To take on such a daunting task, I draw inspiration from Tor Hagfors' vision in founding and nurturing EISCAT.