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Astro2010 Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground (OIR)

Summary

As one of the four Astro2010 Program Prioritization Panels (PPP) the OIR panel is charged with recommending a prioritized, balanced, and integrated research program which includes a rank ordering of research activities and a balanced technology development program for observatories and telescopes that primarily observe in the optical and infrared from the ground.

Project Information

Statement of Task

The Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Program Prioritization Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground (OIR) will identify and recommend a prioritized program of federal investment in research activities that involve observations of astrophysical phenomena primarily by means of optical and infrared measurements from the ground. In formulating its conclusions, the OIR panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2010 science frontiers panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost and technical readiness assessments. The OIR panel's recommendations will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Astro2010 Committee.

In particular, the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Program Prioritization Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground will:

1. Report on the status of existing OIR research activities from the ground to set the context for future research activities, incorporating findings of the Study Groups.
2. Preview and compare proposed OIR research activities from the ground including those carried forward from previous surveys that have not been given a formal construction start.
3. State the relative importance of (a) smaller projects and generic research programs that involve competitive peer review and (b) programs that leverage public and private infrastructure investments, where appropriate.
4. Assess and describe best available estimates of the construction costs and lifetimes for each recommended research activity together with their full running costs (operations, science, and upgrades).
5. Identify particular risks for each research activity that would adversely affect the projected cost, technical readiness, or schedule of the activity. Identify those factors that could change an activity's priority and/or scope.
6. Informed by (a) the recommendations of the science frontier panels and (b) the panel's own research activity assessments, recommend a prioritized, balanced, and integrated OIR research program which includes a rank ordering of research activities and a balanced technology development program. A preliminary recommended program will be used to identify activities that will be subject to an independent technical evaluation and cost estimate. The panel's final recommendation to the Survey Committee will include consideration of the results of the independent technical evaluation and cost estimate.

In completing this task, each PPP will provide the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Committee’s Subcommittee on Programs with an interim internal and confidential summary report of its recommended program in the Fall of 2009 and complete its panel report thereafter.  The panel reports will be published following the release of the survey committee’s report in 2010.
 

Committee Members and NRC Staff

Patrick S. Osmer, Chair, The Ohio State University
Michael Skrutskie, Vice Chair, University of Virginia
Charles Bailyn, Yale University
Betsy Barton, University of California Irvine
Todd Boroson, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Daniel Eisenstein, University of Arizona
Andrea Ghez, University of California Los Angeles
J. Todd Hoeksema, Stanford University
Robert Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Bruce Macintosh, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Piero Madau, University of California Santa Cruz
John Monnier, University of Michigan
Iain Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute
Charles E. Woodward, University Of Minnesota

NRC Staff

Don Shapero, Director BPA
Michael Moloney, Astro2010 Study Director
LaVita Coates-Fogle, Senior Program Assistant, BPA

Meetings

Meeting 1: May 12-13, 2009, Irvine, CA (This meeting is closed in its entirety.)
Meeting 2: June 8-11, 2009, Pasadena, CA
Meeting 3: August 25-27 4-6, 2009, Washington DC

The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from the NASA, the NSF, and the DOE.

The National Academies' Current Projects System

The National Academies' Current Projects System maintains the public record of a committees' activities compliant to Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Visit the Astro2010 Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground Current Projects page for more information.

 

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