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Space Studies Board Jump to Top Search: NewsJump to Science in the Subscribe to our FREE e- Headlines newsletter! NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL June 15, 2004 Current Operating Status On the National Science Foundation's Facility Instrumentation Program On June 2, 1999, Board on Physics and Astronomy Chair Robert Dynes and Space Studies Board Chair Claude R. Canizares, on behalf of the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, sent the following letter to Dr. Hugh Van Horn, director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Astronomical Sciences. At its meeting in November 1998, the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) was asked by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to review a proposal by ACCORD (AURA Coordinating Council of Observatory Research Directors) to modify NSFâs current Facility Instrumentation Program (FIP), which was initially recommended by the CAAâs Panel on Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy (A Strategy for Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995; hereinafter the OIR report). The NSF originally implemented the OIR reportâs recommendation by establishing the FIP, which provides support for the construction of facility instruments at the independent observatories. Funds are awarded on the basis of scientific merit in exchange for observing time for the astronomical community at large. The ACCORD proposal suggests revising the FIP by removing the current requirement for a return of observing time to the community and replacing it with a requirement for matching funds. The revised FIP would provide a return to the community by opening the program to proposals from national facilities, such as the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) and the Gemini Observatory. The CAA here reaffirms its support for the basic principles and form of the original FIP as outlined in the OIR report: the development of facility instruments at major private observatories and, in return, the provision of observing time open to the astronomical community (OIR report, p. 2 and pp. 28-33). The opening of the FIP to proposals from the national observatories, which already have their own instrumentation funding, would not address the goal of providing community access as recommended in the OIR report. Nor would it be consistent with the relatively low priority assigned in that report to instrumentation at NOAO (OIR http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/fipletter.html (1 of 2) [6/15/2004 3:31:09 PM]
Space Studies Board Jump to Top Search: NewsJump to Science in the Subscribe to our FREE e- Headlines newsletter! NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL June 15, 2004 Current Operating Status On the National Science Foundation's Facility Instrumentation Program Membership Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics John P. Huchra,* Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Co-chair) Thomas A. Prince, California Institute of Technology (Co-chair) Eric E. Becklin, University of California at Los Angeles Todd A. Boroson, National Optical and Astronomy Observatories Roger Chevalier, University of Virginia Neal J. Evans, University of Texas at Austin Jacqueline N. Hewitt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr., University of Arizona Richard F. Mushotzky, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Stanton J. Peale, University of California at Santa Barbara Deane Peterson, State University of New York at Stony Brook Blair D. Savage, University of Wisconsin at Madison David N. Spergel, Princeton University Observatory Michael Turner, University of Chicago Ellen Gould Zwiebel, University of Colorado at Boulder Robert L. Riemer, Study Director Anne K. Simmons, Senior Program Assistant *Co-chair John Huchra, a member of the AURA board, recused himself from the deliberations on the recommendations contained in this letter. Last update 12/29/00 at 11:59 am Site managed by the SSB Web Group. To comment on this Web page or report an error, please send feedback to the Space Studies Board. Subscribe to e-newsletters | Feedback | Back to Top http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/fipmember.html (1 of 2) [6/15/2004 3:33:38 PM]
Space Studies Board Jump to Top Search: NewsJump to Science in the Subscribe to our FREE e- Headlines newsletter! NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL June 15, 2004 Current Operating Status On the National Science Foundation's Facility Instrumentation Program Statements of Task Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics The committee examines the status of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics and provides assessments to NASA, the National Science Foundation, and other institutions as a joint committee of the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy. The overall objective is to encourage progress in astronomy and astrophysics and to assist the federal government in planning programs in these fields. OIR Panel Statement of Task The charge to the panel consists of three points: Assess the context in which optical and infrared astronomy will be pursued in the coming decade, including existing and planned instruments worldwide, NASA missions, and likely technological developments. Within this context, evaluate the mission of the NOAO and define its optimal role (including both nighttime and solar activities) relative to that of other government facilities and optical/infrared university observatories and research departments. This evaluation will take into account both the research and educational roles of the organizations. Suggest and evaluate alternative strategies designed to optimize progress in the field, taking into account the funding available from various federal and nonfederal sources and projections for the future. Give advice for strategies and priorities within the NOAO suite of programs in the light of the expectation that the NSF resources available for these programs will be severely constrained in the coming decade. Letter http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/fiptask.html (1 of 2) [6/15/2004 3:35:27 PM]