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PhysPAG Technology Study Analysis Group (SAG)

Telecon held 2/25/11, 3-4pm EST to discuss the technology SAG task to assess PCOS technology needs and provide input to the present NRC study on the NASA technology roadmaps.

Attending: Jaya Bajpayee (NASA/HQ), Roger Brissenden (SAO), Kathy Flanagan (STScI), Liz Hays (NASA/GSFC), Steve Murray (JHU/SAO), Steve Ritz (UCSC), Jason Rhodes (NASA/JPL), Rita Sambruna (NASA/HQ), Dan Schwartz (SAO), Kent Wood (NRL); Apologies: Randy Correll (Ball)

Main points discussed during the call:

I. Purpose and Timeline (Roger)

Present call follows from public January PhysPAG meeting at Seattle AAS for those interested in the short term task of assessing the NASA technology roadmaps against PCOS technology requirements and developing input to the current NRC study.

Inputs due to the NRC by April 15 through a structured web form (http://www8.nationalacademies.org/asebsurvey/tabs/).

Suggested process for SAG to conduct a PCOS/Roadmap assessment by early April, develop inputs for the NRC and pass by the APS at their April 7-8 meeting for concurrence prior to submission.

II. NRC Process (Dan)

Dan is a member the NRC review panel reviewing TA08 and TA11. He described the review process, the three levels of technology (area, subarea and technology), and the expected deliverables based on committee expertise and input from the public: updated roadmaps with technology gaps filled, prioritized level 3 technologies. Input from the public is via a series of workshops and the web-form input. Dan noted that that there would be very few high priority recommended technologies.

Chris Martin and Steve Murray have been invited to speak at one of the workshops. Steve will attend a workshop on March 27 and be able to present material/ideas generated by this SAG.

Steve Ritz plans to send a general email to the community about the PhysPAG and include discussion of Technology SAG. AAS bulletin deadline approaching.

III. PCOS Missions and Technology

Rita noted that attention should be paid to the currently identified future PCOS missions IXO, LISA, Inflation Probe (and WFIRST given its science goals). She stressed that the budget is constrained for implementing these missions, however all agreed that we should also assess "push" technologies for missions two decades in the future.

PCOS technologies (from PCOS website):

  1. High sensititivity detectors and large format detector arrays
    • low temperature cryogenic detectors, e.g., microcalorimeters and FIR/Submm/mm bolometers
    • active pixel sensor arrays, etc.
  2. X-ray optics
    • X-ray mirror segment fabrication and mounting
    • Gratings
  3. New technologies for measurements in gravitational astrophysics and fundamental physics
    • optical metrology
    • ultra-stable pointing mechanism, etc.

IV. Approach to Task

As a test case, we reviewed NASA's draft Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems Roadmap (TA08) for inclusion of the key technologies required for future large-aperture, high-resolution X-ray telescopes: e.g., lightweight adjustable X-ray optics, and detectors such as large format microcalorimeters and active pixel sensor arrays.

Draft TA08 includes:

  • Technology Area Breakdown structure (Figure 1) elements:
    • 8.1.1 - Detectors and Focal Planes
    • 8.2.1 - Mirror Systems
  • Top Technology Categories (p2):
    • Large Focal Plane Arrays, High Efficiency Coolers, and Low-Cost, Large-Aperture Precision Mirrors
  • SIOSS #8 Roadmap (Figure 2) milestones:
    • 8.1.1: Large Format Arrays
    • 8.2.1: < arcsec, 12m primary mirror feeding Observatory push technology. Conclusion: this area appears to be covered (however, should check if the detector technologies feeds X-ray push mission).

A general approach was discussed:

  1. Review each of the areas below for technology needs.
  2. Cross check against the draft TA08.
  3. Identify technologies to be endorsed and technology gaps.
  4. Generate draft text for the NRC input form.

V. Technology Areas and Assignments:

  1. Cross-check the 2005 Technology Study (involving Steve Murray, Jim Breckinridge et al) against the draft TA08. [Steve Murray]
  2. Techology potentially identified in near-term proposals (e.g., SAT call). Include technology for future gamma-ray technology (including lenses, polarization, and Compton telescopes) [Kent Wood, Liz Hays]
  3. IXO and IXO-push technology (Gen-X - like). [Roger Brissenden]
  4. LISA and LISA-push technology. [Guido Mueller; suggest coordinating with Tuck Stebbins]
  5. Inflation Probe and push tech. [Shaul Hanany]
  6. NIR technology, e.g., WFIRST and push tech [Steve Murray and Jason Rhodes; suggest coordinatin with Chris Martin, Chair of COPAG]
  7. Fundamental Physics and GR experiment technology (precision clocks, cavities etc.). [Randy Correll and Liz Hays; suggest coordinating with Peter Bender].

Plan is to report on each area at the next meeting in approximately 2 weeks (to be arranged by doodle poll). Leads are encouraged to email early drafts of their assessment to the group.

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