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Conversation with ACCORD on GSMT. 21 January 2005 Michael S. Turner, Assistant Director Directorate for Mathematical & Physics Sciences National Science Foundation. NSF Vision for Ground-based Optical/IR Astronomy.

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conversation with accord on gsmt
Conversation with ACCORD on GSMT

21 January 2005

Michael S. Turner, Assistant Director

Directorate for Mathematical & Physics Sciences

National Science Foundation

nsf vision for ground based optical ir astronomy
NSF Vision for Ground-based Optical/IR Astronomy
  • Goal: Ground-based observing system that makes possible the grand opportunities in astronomy
  • Strategy:
    • Strong public/private partnering
    • Work in a world context
    • Coordination with space-based program to the degree possible
    • Strong public capability
      • Full utilization of Gemini
      • Significant participation in a >10m telescope project
      • Diminishing public investment in CTIO/KPNO (rising private investment?)
      • Strong grants program
major phases of the mrefc process
Major Phases of the MREFC Process
  • CONCEPTUAL DESIGN PHASE (small, R&RA)
    • Need and concept established; community workshops; NRC studies; FACA committee input
  • “READINESS” PHASE (R&RA, ~10% of construction)
    • Fund enabling R&D; re-solve technical issues -- “buy down risk”; establish robust cost, schedule and scope – ready for approval process; proposal review
  • APPROVAL PHASE
    • Division; Directorate; MREFC panel (NSF); NSB; OMB/President’s Budget; Congress
  • CONSTRUCTION PHASE (MREFC account)
    • Initiated by NSB authorization of funds for a baselined project; NSF oversight and reviews
  • OPERATIONS (R&RA, ~10% of construction/yr)
    • Oversight and review; re-competition; renewal; eventual termination
slide4

Conceptual Design

Panel Review,

NRC, MPSAC

NSF(Div/Dir )

Genius of the

Community

Horizon (Blue

Sky Phase)

Concept/Design/

Development

$$ from Div/Dir

Community (eg,

NRC, MPSAC…)

Div/Dir Decision

“Readiness”

MREFC Panel Approves

NSB Concurs

MREFC Panel &

NSF Director

“Getting Ready”

Stage

Proposed for

New Start

MREFC Process

Approval

MREFC

Appropriation

Congress

Candidate

for

New Start

President’s

Budget

NSB

NSB,

Director

Priority

List

NSF, NSB,

OMB, OSTP

Construction, Operations

Construction

$$ from MREFC

Account

Operations

& Research

$$ from Div/Dir

Community Sweat,

NSF Oversight

NSB

approval phase
Approval Phase
  • Divisonal/Directorate Review*
  • Review by NSF MREFC Committee**
  • Review by Director’s Review Board
  • Approved by Director for consideration by the NSB
  • Approved by the NSB for inclusion in “the queue”
  • Approved by Director and NSB for inclusion in NSF’s budget request to the President
  • Approved for inclusion in the President’s budget request (currently working on FY06)***
  • Congress appropriates Funds
  • NSF (Director and NSB) approves award when appropriated funds are available, begins construction

*Must compete against other proposals, now including: LSST, ATST, GSMT, ERL

**Must compete against projects proposed by other Directorates

***If Division/Directorate review begins in FY06, could compete for slot in FY08

mrefc update
MREFC Update
  • Brinkman Report (Early 04) commissioned by Congress emphasized changes needed for transparency of process and community input/planning
  • NSF/NSB Response to Brinkman Oct 04
  • New MREFC Plan and Guide Mar 05
  • Queue is emptying
  • … just as the Treasury is emptying
slide7

From the FY2005 Budget Request

The Queue is Emptying

Under

Construction

Approved

by NSB

Since then, NEON has been deferred and AdvLIGO has been added

as a possible FY07 Start with profile of 31M, 44M, 45M, 35M, 22M and 7M

mps mrefc projects
MPS MREFC Projects
  • ALMA, IceCube (Construction Phase)
  • RSVP (completed Approval Phase, awaiting NSB approval for initiation of construction)
  • AdvLIGO (Approval Phase, ready to go in Budget)
  • ATST (ready to begin Approval Phase)
  • GSMT (entering Readiness Phase)
  • LSST (entering Readiness Phase)
  • Deep, Underground Lab (entering Readiness Phase)
  • Coherent, x-ray light source (Conceptual)
  • EVLA-II (Readiness Phase)
  • SKA (Conceptual)
gsmt timeline
GSMT Timeline
  • Conceptual design phase complete (now)
  • Entering “Readiness” Phase (2005)
    • R&D proposal received and being reviewed
    • AST expects to make an award
    • 4 – 5(?) years of enabling R&D
  • Related activities
    • Making headroom for new facilities
      • Optical/IR Long-range Plan (2020 Vision)
      • Senior Review to re-balance portfolio
    • International dialogue (coordination of R&D, ….)
  • Pick a partner(s) (no loser strategy)
  • Ready for the Approval Phase as early as 2010
  • Begin Construction Phase as early as 2012
budgetary context
Budgetary Context
  • 68% increase in NSF budget 1995 to 2005
    • AST budget doubled, from $100M to $200M
  • 2002: NSF Budget Doubling Strategy
  • But, New Realities
    • $500B Deficit: ~20% of Federal Budget, about equal to nonDefense Discretionary Spending portion of the $2.4T Budget
    • Administration priorities: War on terrorism; Homeland Security; Economy
  • FY05
    • Request “only” 3% above FY04 -- off the doubling curve
    • Actual 2% below FY04 (5% Congressional mark down) – only the 3rd budget decrease in 54 years(!)
    • Projection in FY05 budget request for 06 and beyond: -1.8% (06); -1.6% (07); -0.8% (08); -0.4% (09)
  • Expectations for 06 and beyond: flat or decreasing
gsmt next steps
GSMT Next Steps
  • AST Funds R&D (2005)
  • Senior Review, 2020 Vision activities (create free energy)
  • NSF leadership willing to meet with “privates”
    • Express its commitment to public/private partnership concept
    • Express commitment to >10m telescope
    • Discuss funding of R&D
    • Discuss NSF process (including the fact that 100% of projects that began serious R&D have gone to completion)
  • After 05/06 budgets are public, get together to discuss implications
  • Community prepares “Quantum Universe” like document to convey science goals
  • Come up with a common timeline

Community enthusiasm is important,

but community realism is essential

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