Summary of FY2001 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation

 

MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT $138,540,000

The FY 2001 Budget Request for Major Research Equipment (MRE) is $138.54 million, an increase of $45.04 million, or 48.2 percent above the FY 2000 Current Plan of $93.50 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1999
Actual

FY 2000
Current Plan

FY 2001
Request

Change

Amount

Percent

Major Research Equipment

$56.71

$93.50

$138.54

$45.04

48.2%

The Major Research Equipment account provides funding for the construction and acquisition of major research facilities that provide unique capabilities at the cutting edge of science and engineering. Projects supported by this account are intended to expand the boundaries of technology and will offer significant new research opportunities, frequently in totally new directions, for the science and engineering community. Operations and maintenance costs of the facilities are provided through the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account.

In FY 2001, funding for seven projects is requested through the Major Research Equipment account: Earthscope: USArray and SAFOD, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Millimeter Array (MMA), the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), the modernization of South Pole Station, and Terascale Computing Systems.

Funding for the nine current and proposed MRE projects is summarized below:

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1999
Actual

FY 2000
Current Plan

FY 2001
Request

EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD

--

--

17.44

HIAPER

--

8.50

--

Large Hadron Collider

22.00

15.90

16.40

Millimeter Array

9.00

8.00

6.00

National Ecological Observatory Network

--

--

12.00

Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation

--

7.70

28.20

Polar Support Aircraft Upgrades

20.00

12.00

--

South Pole Station 1

5.70

5.40

13.50

Terascale Computing Systems

--

36.00

45.00

TOTAL, MRE

$56.71

$93.50

$138.54

1 In FY 1999, $34.67 million was carried over into FY 2000, largely in support of the South Pole Station Modernization Project.

 

EARTHSCOPE: USARRAY AND SAN ANDREAS FAULT OBSERVATORY AT DEPTH

The FY 2001 request for funding to initiate construction of EarthScope: USArray and San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) is $17.44 million. To complete this project, NSF requests advance appropriations of $28.46 million in FY 2002, $15.74 million in FY 2003, and $13.17 million in FY 2004. Total NSF funding for this project is $74.81 million over the period FY 2001-2004.

EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD is a distributed, multi-purpose geophysical instrument array that will allow scientists to make major advances in our knowledge and understanding of the structure and dynamics of the North American continent. These observational facilities provide a framework for broad integrated studies across the earth sciences, including research on earthquakes and seismic hazards, magmatic systems and volcanic hazards, lithospheric dynamics, regional tectonics, continental structure and evolution, and fluids in the crust. EarthScope investigations will be done in close partnership with local and state governments, federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, and with Canada and Mexico when investigations border on those countries.

This project is composed of two elements. The first element is USArray, which is a dense array of high-capability seismometers that will be deployed in a step-wise fashion throughout the U.S. to greatly improve our resolution of the subsurface structure. The second element is the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD), which will provide access for the first time to a major active fault at depth to monitor fault conditions and study nucleation and rupture processes of earthquakes.

USArray and SAFOD are essential elements in a complex-systems approach to understanding and simulating earthquake physics. Direct long-term benefits to society are anticipated through improved predictive capability for probabilistic earthquake hazard. Improved earthquake strong-motion predictions will enable the development of local building code improvements and serve as input to NSF's Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) project that studies the response of the built environment to earthquakes.

Construction funding for EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD are scheduled to be completed in FY 2004. When EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD are completed, they will be operated by a consortium that includes participation from host institutions, affiliate organizations, and the user community. Beyond FY 2004, the annual operations and management budget for USArray and SAFOD will be approximately $4 million.

NSF Suppport for EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD

(Millions of dollars)

 

FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003

FY 2004

Total

EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD

$17.44

$28.46

$15.74

$13.17

$74.81

Milestones for EarthScope: USArray and SAFOD are outlined below:

FY 2001 Milestones

Recommend cooperative-agreement awards;
Compete and award contracts for broadband and short-period seismic systems;
San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth main hole drilling contract competed and awarded; and
Initiate drilling.

FY 2002 Milestones

Delivery and installation of 50 transportable array units;
Delivery and installation of 500 flexible pool short period units;
Delivery and installation of 5 GSN and 10 NSN permanent units;
Main hole completed at San Andreas Fault Observatory; and
Down-hole monitoring instrumentation installed.

FY 2003 Milestones

Delivery and installation of 200 transportable array units;
Delivery and installation of flexible pool units: 200 broadband and 1000 short period seismic systems;
Delivery and installation of 5 GSN and 10 NSN permanent stations;
San Andreas Fault special site characterization studies carried out.

FY 2004 Milestones

Delivery and installation of 200 transportable array units;
Delivery of flexible pool sites: 200 broadband and 500 short period units;
Installation of flexible pool units: 200 broadband and 1000 short period units;
Delivery and installation of 5 NSN permanent stations;
Commence coring operations.

FY 2005 Milestones

Installation of long-term instrumentation in San Andreas Fault Observatory;
Complete USArray deployment (redeploy at approximate 2-year intervals).

 

HIGH-PERFORMANCE INSTRUMENTED AIRBORNE PLATFORM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

In FY 2000, $8.50 million was provided for a new atmospheric research aircraft and to develop associated next-generation instrumentation; the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) project. HIAPER will allow cutting edge science to be conducted in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner than previously possible. With operational capabilities complementary to the existing U.S. airborne science fleet, HIAPER will allow research into many of the outstanding issues in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere.

In parallel with aircraft acquisition and modification is an instrument development process. Instrument development and validation experiments will be initiated during FY 2000 as part of the overall planning activity. No funds for HIAPER are requested in FY 2001.

Major Milestones for HIAPER:

FY 2000 Milestones

Develop RFP for airframe procurement;
Initiate instrumentation developments and validation experiments.

 

LARGE HADRON COLLIDER

The FY 2001 Budget Request includes $16.4 million for construction of two detectors of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). These are ATLAS (A Toroidal Large Angle Spectrometer) and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid). To complete the project, this budget requests advance appropriations of $16.86 million in FY 2002 and $9.72 million in FY 2003. Total NSF funding for this project is $81.0 million over the period FY 1999-2003. Oversight of this project is provided through the Physics Subactivity within the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Activity.

The LHC is being constructed at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The facility will consist of a superconducting particle accelerator providing two counter-rotating beams of protons, each with energies up to 7 TeV (7x10 12 electron volts). ATLAS and CMS, are being constructed to characterize the reaction products produced in the very high energy proton-proton collisions which will occur at intersection regions where the two beams are brought together. The LHC will enable a search for the Higgs particle, the existence and properties of which will provide a deeper understanding of the origin of mass of the known elementary particles. The LHC will also enable a search for particles predicted by a powerful theoretical framework known as supersymmetry which will provide clues as to how the four known forces evolved from different aspects of the same "unified" force in the early universe.

Funding for the overall LHC project, including these two detectors and the accelerator, is being provided through an international partnership involving NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the CERN member states, with CERN member states providing the major portion. The total U.S. contribution will be $531.0 million, with $450.0 from the DOE. NSF and DOE will jointly provide a total contribution of $331.0 million for the detector construction, while DOE will provide sole U.S. contribution ($200 million) for the accelerator construction.

The two LHC detectors will provide partially redundant and partially complementary information aimed at maximizing the chance of discovery. Both detectors will operate at extremely high data rates, which will push the state-of-the-art technology of electronic triggers, data acquisition, and data analysis. Development of U.S. computational resources to fully exploit the opportunities that the LHC will present is currently being carried out with support provided through the Physics Subactivity within the Mathematics and Physical Sciences subactivity.

The overall LHC construction, including the accelerator and the ATLAS and CMS detectors, is currently scheduled for completion in FY 2005. NSF construction funding for the ATLAS and CMS detectors is scheduled to be completed in FY 2003. Detector construction schedule performance is measured through milestone completion and by earned value. These measurements indicate that schedule progress is slightly behind plans, averaging, at this time, about eighty-five percent of the baseline plan. However, the FY 1999 milestones, though delayed, were all met within FY 1999. Including this slippage, CERN still expects to complete construction of the LHC, with its detectors, and commence initial operations in 2005. The U.S. schedules remain consistent with this goal. U.S. cost performance is satisfactory, with material contracts typically below estimates, and labor costs tracking close to plan. Project reviews and reports confirm that each project (ATLAS and CMS) has adequate contingency available. The detector projects are now in the production phase, and cost experience on production labor will be an important future indicator of cost performance.

NSF Support For LHC

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1999*

FY 2000

FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003

Total

Large Hadron Collider

$22.0

$15.9

$16.4

$16.9

$9.7

$80.9

*Does not include an additional $150,000 provided through the R&RA account. NOTE: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Major Milestones for the LHC are outlined below:

FY 1999 Milestones (completed)

Initiate construction and testing of components of solenoidal-and torroidal-field detector magnets, of the calorimeters, and the inner and outer tracking detectors.

FY 2000 Milestones

ATLAS: Complete design for tracking and calorimetry readout, complete design of calorimeter triggers, complete production of muon chamber electronics;
CMS: Ship calorimeter supports to CERN, start design of tracking electronics.

FY 2001 Milestones

ATLAS: Ship calorimeter cryostat to CERN, complete calorimeter feedthrough and electronics production, complete muon chamber support structures, complete trigger prototypes;
CMS: Finish design of tracking electronics, complete production of muon chambers, finish production of optical system for calorimeters;

FY 2002 Milestones

ATLAS: Complete tracking module production, complete transition radiator production, complete calorimeter production and start installation, start trigger installation;
CMS: Complete calorimeter electronics and ship to CERN, start data acquisition system assembly.

FY 2003 Milestones

ATLAS: Complete muon chamber production, start installation, complete transition chamber electronics;
CMS: Install muon chambers, complete data acquisition system, complete photodiode production, test detector magnets.

FY 2004 Milestones

ATLAS: Complete tracking read out installation, complete calorimeter installation, complete muon chamber alignment, complete trigger installation, complete transition chamber installation;
CMS: Install detector magnets, ship calorimeter tracking elements to CERN, complete all construction.

FY 2005 Milestones

Initiate and complete commissioning of ATLAS and CMS detectors. (Coincides with scheduled completion of construction of the LHC accelerator by the end of the year.)

 

MILLIMETER ARRAY

The Millimeter Array (MMA) was conceived as an aperture-synthesis radio telescope operating in the wavelength range from 3 to 0.4 mm.

International or other-agency participation at the 25-50% level has been a goal of the MMA project from the outset. Extensive discussions with potential partners in Europe and Japan were carried out during FY 1999, and in June 1999, a memorandum of understanding merging U.S. and European design and development efforts for an expanded array to be called the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) was signed between the National Science Foundation and a consortium of European institutions and funding agencies. As part of the joint Design and Development program, the U.S. and European partners have adopted identical antenna specifications, and agreed to select different contractors in order to maintain the maximum degree of competition in the antenna selection process.

The goal of the U.S.-European ALMA partnership is an array consisting of 64 antennas 12 meters in diameter. The U.S. share of the joint array will not exceed $292 million, including design and development funds (FY 1999 dollars); the construction of such an array is expected to take 6-7 years. The intent of the European ALMA partners is to match equally the maximum U.S. share of the MMA project in order to construct the most scientifically capable array possible. Joint detailed cost and scope studies of the array by the partners are currently underway, as are the details of the U.S.-European capital construction partnership. Japan remains interested in the possibility of joining the ALMA partnership as a third major partner at a later date.

ALMA will be the world's most sensitive, highest resolution, millimeter-wavelength telescope. It will combine an angular resolution comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescope with the sensitivity of a single antenna nearly 100 meters in diameter. The array will provide a testing ground for theories of star birth and stellar evolution, galaxy formation and evolution, and the evolution of the universe itself. It will reveal the inner workings of the central black hole "engines" which power quasars, and will make possible a search for earth-like planets around hundreds of nearby stars.

A $26.0 million, three-year Design and Development Phase was originally planned for the MMA project. However, since the original three year plan was initiated, the U.S. entered into a partnership with a European consortium to develop ALMA. The expanded managerial and technical complexity of the ALMA concept now requires an additional year of design and development; consequently, $6.0 million in additional funds is requested for these activities in FY 2001. This change will bring the total request for Design and Development funds to $32.0 million.

NSF Support for the MMA

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1998

FY 1999

FY 2000

FY 2001

Total

Millimeter Array

$9.0

$9.0

$8.0

$6.0

$32.0

Funding for the U.S. share of construction of a joint array will be requested only after appropriate approvals by the National Science Board.

The goals of the Design and Development phase of the project are to select and construct a prototype antenna, to establish an overall design concept, along with a detailed cost and schedule, to chose a digital correlator architecture, to identify international partners, and to select a site from among the candidate array locations which have been under study for several years. The original schedule for the selection of the prototype antenna contractor has been delayed by several months so that the selection can be coordinated with the procurement of a European prototype.

Milestones for the MMA project are outlined below.

FY 1998 Milestones (accomplished)

Begin negotiations with possible international partners; and
Design and begin construction of prototype receivers.

FY 1999 Milestones (accomplished)

Select MMA site;
Design antenna;
Design prototype correlator, computer/software system, LO and fiber optic systems;
Complete first prototype receiver components; and
Select local oscillator system.

FY 2000 Milestones

Select prototype antenna contractor;
Finalize agreements with international partners; and
Deliver prototype correlator and receivers to test site.

FY 2001 Milestones

Deliver U.S. prototype antenna to test site;
Deliver European prototype antenna to test site; and
Test U.S and European prototype antennas at test site.

During FY 2000, NSF will decide whether to proceed to the Capital Construction Phase of the project. This will enable NSF to reevaluate the project before undertaking major expenditures.

 

NATIONAL ECOLOGICAL OBSERVATORY NETWORK

The FY 2001 Request includes $12.0 million to initiate construction of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). To complete this project, this Budget requests advance appropriations of $20.0 million in FY 2002, $27.0 million in FY 2003, $20.0 million in FY 2004, $14.0 million in FY 2005, and $7.0 million in FY 2006. Total NSF funding for construction of this project, including the experimental facilities, archives and network, is $100.0 million over the period FY 2001-2006. Funding for the maintenance and operations of NEON will be provided through the Research and Related Activities account.

NEON will consist of 10 observatories nationwide that will serve as national research platforms for integrated, cutting-edge research in field biology. Each observatory will pursue interdisciplinary research using state-of-the-art infrastructure. Collectively, the network of 10 observatories will form a large array that will allow scientists to conduct experiments on ecological systems at all levels of biological organization from molecular genetics to whole ecosystems and across scales ranging from seconds to geological time and from microns to regions and continents. NEON is needed to understand how our nation's ecosystems function and to predict their responses to natural and anthropogenic events. NEON will also systematically and directly support application of new technologies, such as functional genomics and molecule-specific stable isotopes, to advance ecological research.

Each NEON observatory will include the site-based experimental infrastructure needed to conduct large, complex field experiments and regional to continental-scale measurement and analysis. Each site will also house and maintain well-documented natural history archive facilities and facilities for biological, physical and data analyses. In addition, each observatory will have unique infrastructure to address site-specific research questions. Intensive studies will be facilitated by standardized equipment for integrated field and laboratory research.

Each site will deploy this infrastructure for use in comprehensive integrated studies of ecosystem processes, biodiversity dynamics, behavioral ecology, population variability, ecophysiology, and molecular genetics in different geographic regions across the U.S. NEON sites will be selected via a peer review process.

The 10 geographically distributed NEON observatories will have scalable computation capabilities and will be networked via satellite and landlines to the very high performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS), to each other, and to specialized facilities, such as supercomputer centers. By creating one virtual installation via a cutting-edge computational network, all members of the field biology research community will be able to access NEON remotely. This will facilitate the predictive modeling of biological systems via data sharing and synthesis efforts by users of the facility. It will also enhance interagency and international collaboration in field biology research.

Construction funding for the NEON physical facilities is scheduled to be completed in FY 2006. A Coordinating Unit, established through a competitive, peer-reviewed process, will operate NEON. This Unit will promote Network-level activities, coordinate acquisition of, or develop, computer software for communication and information sharing, and test and develop new technologies for NEON research with input from all NEON host institutions, affiliate organizations, and the user community.

NSF Support for NEON

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

Total

Construction

12.00

20.00

27.00

20.00

14.00

7.00

100.00

Maintenance & Operations*

4.00

8.00

10.00

11.00

11.00

11.00

55.00

Total, NEON

$16.00

$28.00

$37.00

$31.00

$25.00

$18.00

$155.00

*Maintenance and Operations costs funded through Biological Sciences in the Research and Related Activities account.

 

Milestones for the NEON are outlined below:

FY 2001 Milestones:

Initiate construction of experimental, archival and analytical core facilities for first cohort of NEON sites;
Procure and install analytical instrumentation and research equipment; and
Start development of system architecture for the flow, integration and networking of data, communications and materials across the fully operational NEON.

FY 2002 Milestones:

Initiate competition for management of NEON Coordinating Unit (NCU);
Complete construction of core facilities for first NEON cohort;
Beta test core facilities of first NEON cohort;
Initiate construction of experimental and analytical core facilities for second cohort (3) of NEON sites;
Procure and install analytical instrumentation and research equipment for second cohort; and
Complete development and begin testing of system architecture for data, communication, and materials flow across NEON.

FY 2003 Milestones:

Establish NEON Coordinating Unit;
Finish construction of core facilities for second NEON cohort;
Beta test core facilities of second NEON cohort;
Initiate construction of experimental and analytical core facilities for third cohort (4) of NEON sites Procure and install analytical instrumentation and research equipment for third cohort; and
Complete testing and begin implementation of networking and integration interfaces.

FY 2004 Milestones:

Finish core facilities for the third NEON cohort;
Beta test core facilities of third cohort;
Refine (if necessary) and implement refined network and integration interface system across all NEON sites; and
NCU solicits proposals and allocates resources to user community.

FY 2005 Milestones:

Complete construction of specialized facilities for third NEON cohort;
Begin construction of specialized facilities that require simultaneous, multiple-site installation;
Beta test core facilities for third NEON cohort, solicit proposals and make user awards;
Implement fully developed and tested networking system; and
NCU solicits proposals and allocates resources to user community.

FY 2006 Milestones:

Complete construction of specialized facilities that require simultaneous, multiple-site installation All sites operational;
NCU solicits proposals and allocates resources to user community; Networking completed; and
Management structure in place.

 

NETWORK FOR EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING SIMULATION

The FY 2001 request to continue construction of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is $28.2 million. To complete this project, the Foundation requests advance appropriations of $24.4 million in FY 2002, $4.5 million in FY 2003, and $17.0 million in FY 2004. Total NSF funding for this project, including both the experimental facilities and the network, is $81.80 million over the period FY 2000-2004. Oversight of this project will be provided through the Engineering (ENG) Activity within the Research and Related Activities Account.

The goal of the NEES Program is to provide a networked, national resource of geographically-distributed, shared-use, next-generation, experimental research equipment installations, with tele-observation and teleoperation capabilities. NEES will shift the emphasis of earthquake engineering research from current reliance on physical testing to integrated experimentation, computation, theory, databases, and model-based simulation using input data from EarthScope and other sources. NEES will be a collaboratory - an integrated experimental, computational, communications, and curated repository system, developed to support collaboration in earthquake engineering research and education. The advanced experimental capabilities provided through NEES will enable researchers to test and validate more complex and comprehensive analytical and computer numerical models that will improve the seismic design and performance of our nation's civil and mechanical systems. The NEES program includes three major components: the network, the equipment, and the operating consortium.

The NEES project will upgrade, modernize, expand, and network the nation's major earthquake engineering research facilities. The NEES equipment portfolio will include: shake table research equipment; centrifuge research equipment; tsunami/wave tank research equipment; large-scale laboratory experimentation systems, such as reaction wall systems, earthquake load simulation equipment, and response modification experimental equipment; and field experimentation and monitoring installations, such as mobile laboratories and experimental equipment (e.g., for structural and geotechnical experiments) and field experimentation and monitoring sites.

The NEES Consortium will provide the leadership, management, and coordination for the NEES collaboratory. The NEES Consortium awardee will develop and implement shared-use access policies for the NEES equipment and develop outreach and training activities for use of the NEES collaboratory, including the NEES equipment.

NSF Support for NEES

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2000

FY 2001

FY 2002

FY2003

FY2004

Total

Total, NEES

$7.70

$28.20

$24.40

$4.50

$17.00

$81.80

Milestones for the NEES are outlined below:

FY 2000 Milestones

Select prototype development awardees for NEES system integration; and
Select equipment designs and up to 19 sites for Phase 1 of NEES.

FY 2001 Milestones

Initiate construction of NEES Phase 1 equipment;
Select NEES system design and begin design and construction of the system and collaboratory.
Begin network software and hardware development and implementation; and
Select awardee to develop the NEES Consortium.

FY 2002 Milestones

Continue development of network and begin to establish site connections for system integration;
Select equipment designs and up to 10 sites for Phase 2 of NEES and begin construction; and
NEES Consortium develops outreach and training activities.

FY 2003 Milestones

Initiate system integration test bed operations; and
NEES Consortium continues with outreach, training, and operation of on-line shared-use facilities.

FY 2004 Milestones

Complete construction and calibration of equipment;
Complete testing of system integration test bed operations;
NEES Consortium assumes operation of all Phase 1 and Phase 2 equipment and of the NEES network.

Construction funding for the NEES physical facilities and network integration is scheduled to be completed in FY 2004. When NEES is completed, it will be operated by an NSF-funded NEES Consortium that includes participation from host institutions, affiliate organizations, and the user community.

POLAR SUPPORT AIRCRAFT UPGRADES

Ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft are the backbone of the U.S. Antarctic Program's (USAP) air transport. LC-130's also support NSF's research in the Arctic. The Air National Guard (ANG) assumed operational control of all LC-130's, and since March 1999 has provided the sole LC-130 support to the USAP. The ANG has six LC-130's and also flies one recently acquired NSF-owned aircraft. Three additional NSF-owned LC-130's required upgrades and modifications to meet Air Force safety and operability standards.

NSF reviewed whether the polar mission could be supported with nine rather than ten LC-130's. The analysis of aircraft requirements requested by NSF focused on mission requirements and maintenance. During the austral summer, six LC-130's will be "in theater" in New Zealand or Antarctica, and four LC-130's will be at the ANG's base in Scotia, New York, for missions in Greenland, other Department of Defense requirements, New York state requirements, training missions, or maintenance. The results of the analysis clearly supported the need for a total of 10 LC-130's.

Modification of one of the aircraft was started in FY 1999 and is scheduled to be complete in FY 2000. The other two aircraft will start undergoing modification in FY 2000 and will be complete in FY 2001. Completion of all three aircraft by FY 2001 is consistent with original planning.

The current budget profile to complete the upgrades is below:

NSF Support for Aircraft Upgrades

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1999

FY 2000

FY 2001

Total

Polar Support Aircraft Upgrades

$20.0

$12.0

--

$32.0

The estimated cost includes engineering, avionics, airframe, safety, propulsion, electronics, and communications equipment for black box installation, storage, and project administration.

A competitive contract for the modifications was awarded and is being administered by the Air Logistics Command at Robins Air Force Base (Warner Robins, GA). NSF's Office of Polar Programs works with the project managers to approve, fund, and track the progress of the work, to ensure the modifications are completed on schedule by FY 2001.

SOUTH POLE STATION

The South Pole is of particular geopolitical significance due to its location at the convergence of the territorial claims of six of the Antarctic Treaty nations. NSF-supported activity achieves the foreign policy objective of maintaining U.S. presence in Antarctica, while providing an observatory for several fields of science. The scientific opportunities are unique as a result of the particular geophysical conditions at the South Pole.

Because of its location on an ice sheet at Earth's axis of rotation, its altitude and cold dry atmosphere, six-month-long days and nights, and its remoteness from centers of human population, the station at the South Pole has important advantages for conducting world-leading science in areas such as infrared and submillimeter astronomy, the study of seismic and atmospheric waves, and research on long-term effects of human activities on the atmosphere.

The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) External Panel, convened in October 1996, examined infrastructure, management, and science options for USAP, including consideration of South Pole Station. The Panel noted that funds specifically appropriated in FY 1997 (South Pole Safety Project) would rectify the most extreme safety, health and environmental concerns at the South Pole, but did not address the underlying problems of aging facilities in a life-threatening environment. They also stated that further life-extension efforts devoted to the existing South Pole facility were not cost effective, and recommended that the station be replaced. Based on this recommendation, the South Pole Station Modernization project was initiated.

SOUTH POLE STATION MODERNIZATION

The goals of South Pole Station Modernization (SPSM) are:

  • Maintain a U.S. presence in accordance with national policy;

  • Provide a safe working and living environment;

  • Provide a platform for science; and . Achieve a 25-year station life.

In FY 1998, $70.0 million was appropriated to begin the South Pole Station Modernization project, in FY 1999 a second increment of $39.0 million was appropriated, and in FY 2000 an additional $5.4 million was appropriated. This Budget includes a request of $13.50 million in FY 2001 to complete the project. Priorities in implementing the modernization project include increasing safety, minimizing environmental impacts and disruption of ongoing science, and optimizing the use of existing facilities during the modernization.

The new station will be an elevated station complex with two connected buildings, supporting 110 people (46 science personnel and 64 support personnel) in the Austral summer, and 50 people (31 science personnel and 19 support personnel) in the winter. The total cost estimate is $127.9 million.

The current budget profile for SPSM is below:

NSF Support for SPSM

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1998

FY 1999

FY 2000

FY 2001

Total

South Pole Station Modernization

$70.0

$39.0

$5.4

$13.5

$127.9

The estimates include materials, labor, logistics for transportation of all material and personnel to the South Pole, construction support, inspection, and equipment, as well as demolition and disposal. The location at the South Pole requires significant lead time for construction projects because of the long procurement cycle, the shipping constraints (one vessel per year to deliver materials), and the shortened period for construction at the South Pole (100 days per year). Construction started in FY 2000. The project is currently on budget and on schedule for completion in FY 2005, consistent with original planning.

SPSM Milestones

Activity

Procurement
(funding year)

Transport to
Antarctica

Airlift to South
Pole

Start
Construction

Finish

Vertical Circular Tower

FY98

FY99

FY99/00

FY00

FY02

Quarters/Galley

FY98

FY99

FY00/FY01

FY01

FY02

Sewer Outfall

FY98

FY99

FY00

FY00

FY02

Fuel Storage (100K gallons)

FY98

FY98

FY99

FY99

FY99

Medical/Science

FY99

FY00

FY01/02

FY02

FY03

Communications/Administration

FY99

FY01

FY02/03

FY03

FY04

Dark Sector Lab

FY98

FY99

FY99/00

FY00

FY02

Water Well

FY99

FY00

FY01/02

FY02

FY03

RF Building

FY99

FY00

FY01/02

FY01

FY01

Emergency Power/Quarters

FY99

FY01

FY02/03

FY03

FY04

Liquid nitrogen and helium facility

FY00

FY01

FY02

FY03

FY03

Quarters/Multipurpose Area

FY99

FY02

FY03/04

FY04

FY05

Electronic Systems and Communications

FY00

FY01

FY01/04

FY01

FY05

Warehousing, SEH and Waste Management

FY99

FY02/03

FY03/04

FY05

FY05

Station Equipment

FY02

FY03

FY04

N/A

FY04

 

Graphic of South Pole Station Modernization

 

SOUTH POLE SAFETY PROJECT

Funding was provided in FY 1997 to address urgent and critical safety and environmental concerns at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. A total of $25.0 million was provided for improvements to the heavy equipment maintenance facility, the power plant, and the fuel storage facilities. Milestones for each component are below. The project is scheduled to be operational by FY 2002. The project is currently on budget and on schedule.

Milestones

Activity

Funding/
Procurement

Transport to
Antarctica

Airlift to
South Pole

Start
Construction

Finish

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Facility Arch

FY97

FY97

FY97/FY98

FY98

FY98

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Facility Building

FY97

FY98

FY98/FY99

FY99

FY00

Power Plant Arch and Building

FY97

FY98

FY99

FY00

FY01

Fuel Storage System

FY97

FY98

FY98/FY99

FY99

FY99

TERASCALE COMPUTING SYSTEMS

There is growing recognition that information technology, particularly computational simulation and modeling is a key contributor to United States economic growth and competitiveness, defense capabilities, environmental studies, and climatology, and scientific and engineering research. For over a decade, NSF has led all Federal agencies in providing high-performance computing systems and networks to the nation's academic science and engineering communities.

The Information Technology Research initiative will provide access to terascale computing resources for the science and engineering community. Such access to leading edge computing capabilities and advanced computing research is critical to maintaining the nation's leading edge and to educating the next generation of computer and computational scientists.

As part of the ITR initiative, the Terascale Computing Systems project will enable U.S. researchers to gain access to leading edge computing capabilities. The project will be connected to NSF's existing Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI), and will be coordinated with the activities of other agencies, such as DOE, to leverage the software, tools, and technology investments.

The FY 2001 Request includes $45.0 million for acquisition of an additional Terascale Computing Systems. Advance appropriations of $55.0 million are requested for FY 2002.

The two Terascale Computing Systems will receive regular upgrades to assure taking advantage of technology trends in speed and performance while providing the most advanced, stable systems possible to the research users. Funds to operate and upgrade the Terascale Computing Systems will be provided through the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Activity within the Research and Related Activities Account.

NSF support for Terascale Computing Systems in millions of dollars:

NSF Support for the Terascale Computing System

(millions of dollars)

 

FY 2000

FY 2001

FY 2002

Total

Terascale System

$36.0

$45.0

$55.0

$136.0

Milestones for the Terascale Computing System are outlined below:

FY 2000 Milestones:

Competition for initial site for Terascale Computing Systems.

FY 2001 Milestones:

Initial site in "friendly user" mode; and
Competition for second site initiated.

 

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Last Updated:
01/29/05
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