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  • richardmitnick 4:37 pm on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Life on LEO: Plants to be Added to the Landscape Evolution Observatory at Biosphere 2", , , , , The University of Arizona (US)   

    From The University of Arizona (US) : “Life on LEO: Plants to be Added to the Landscape Evolution Observatory at Biosphere 2” 

    From The University of Arizona (US)

    10.12.21
    Daniel Stolte

    Surprisingly little is known about how rain moves through landscapes once it’s on the ground. The University of Arizona’s Landscape Evolution Observatory is designed to provide answers. A $3.5 million grant will allow scientists to study the roles plants and microbes play in the process.

    1
    One of three artificial hillslopes in the Landscape Evolution Observatory. Each is equipped with 1,900 sensors and sampling devices that enable scientists to monitor water, carbon and energy cycling processes and the physical and chemical evolution of the landscape at small and large scales. Credit: Aaron Bugaj.

    The National Science Foundation (US) has awarded $3.5 million to a team led by University of Arizona researchers to study how life prevails in barren landscapes, such as those disturbed by wildfires, volcanic eruptions or mining operations.

    The research will yield new insights into the effects of a changing climate on such landscapes, and could someday even help astronauts raise crops on Mars.

    Researchers from The University of Arizona, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US) and California Lutheran University (US) will establish a complete ecosystem – with plants, artificial rain and sophisticated monitoring technology – on the large artificial hillslopes at the Landscape Evolution Observatory, or LEO, located inside The University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2. The experiment will offer scientists a detailed look at how emergent plant life interacts with soil, water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to create more complex ecosystems.

    “In a nutshell, we’re getting ready to put life on LEO in the form of plants,” said Scott Saleska, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who took over as LEO’s director of science earlier this year. “This grant will allow us to answer a question central to ecology: Can we predict what is going to happen when we build up an ecosystem from scratch? LEO allows us to literally watch life’s complexity build up from ground zero.”

    LEO is the world’s largest laboratory experiment in the interdisciplinary earth sciences. The experiment consists of three artificial landscapes that mimic watersheds in the natural world, each contained within elaborate steel structures housed in three adjacent bays under the glass-and-steel domes of Biosphere 2. Each hillslope is 100 feet long and 35 feet wide and blanketed with 1 million pounds of crushed basalt rock, layered 3 feet deep. Each of LEO’s hillslopes is studded with 1,900 sensors that allow scientists to observe each step in the landscapes’ evolution – from lifeless soil to living, breathing landscapes that will ultimately support complex microbial and vascular plant communities.

    3
    The first organisms to colonize barren landscape are microbes and less complex plants, such as these mosses growing in the Landscape Evolution Observatory, on the hillslope soils created from crushed basalt rock that originated in a volcanic eruption. Credit: Aaron Bugaj.

    Over the past five years, researchers have used LEO to gain in-depth knowledge of how landscapes evolve in the absence of plant life other than microbes and mosses. Those studies focused on the interactions between soil and water, with the water being provided through a sophisticated irrigation system that simulates various kinds of rain. The new NSF grant kicks off a new phase of the project, allowing researchers to study more complex interactions between the physical and biological components of LEO’s ecosystem, particularly between tiny microbial communities and higher plants.

    Water, Water Everywhere – But What Does it Do and Where Does it Go?

    The world faces the increasingly urgent question of how to better understand and manage complex physical-biological systems to address pressing problems such as how to restore degraded landscapes, practice sustainable ecosystem management and terraform planets beyond Earth. Terraforming is the science of transforming hostile environments into land that can grow crops.

    By adding plants with roots and vascular systems to LEO, Saleska’s team will study how plant life affects a well-established physical system and test hypotheses about the interactions between plants and microbes.

    Project co-leader Katrina Dlugosch, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, selected alfalfa as the model plant organism to be planted at LEO because it has been thoroughly studied, and its genome has been sequenced and is well-known. Alfalfa also commonly enters in symbioses – or partnerships – with microbes capable of scrubbing nitrogen from the atmosphere and converting it into nutrients the plants can use.

    “Alfalfa provides one of the key features of primary succession – the process of life colonizing an environment that has very little to offer in terms of nutrients,” Dlugosch explained.

    “We think there will be a strong selection in this harsh environment on how these plants establish and maintain their partnerships with the microbes, and we are looking to understand both the ecology of that and, down the road, the biological evolution of this hillslope community as a whole,” said Malak Tfaily, assistant professor in The University of Arizona Department of Environmental Science.

    The team also will use LEO’s hillslopes as models for watershed environments in the natural world. Experiments will test how water flows through landscapes, how that affects the weathering of rock to soil, and the effects of those processes on landscapes and their biological habitability.

    “The basic question boils down to: What happens to the rain?” said Peter Troch, University of Arizona professor of hydrology and atmospheric science and a member of the project’s steering committee. “We are going to test how water is used by plants through root water uptake or contributes to aquifer recharge and streamflow.”

    Troch expects the results to inform land management practices such as water conservation measures in water-limited environments and plant selection in landscape restoration efforts.

    A key part of the project is its scalability, Saleska added. What researchers learn from studying small patches of plants growing on the LEO hillslope can be applied to full landscapes.

    The project, titled Growing a new science of landscape terraformation: The convergence of rock, fluids, and life to form complex ecosystems across scales, was selected by NSF under its Growing Convergence Research program, which aims to solve complex research problems with a focus on societal needs. In addition to experts in hydrology, geochemistry, evolutionary genomics and ecology, the LEO team will include anthropologists who study cultures of science, with the goal of breaking new ground in how researchers from historically separate disciplines can better share and integrate their ideas and insights for the benefit of the world.

    “These are extremely competitive grants, specifically created to address some of the world’s greatest challenges, and to even be considered requires a portfolio of interdisciplinary scholarship and technological capability that the university excels at bringing together,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “The fact that our researchers continue to attract these types of grants speaks to the unique ecosystem of talent, technology and perseverance that our faculty bring to the table.”

    Other members of the LEO project steering committee include Jon Chorover, head of the Department of Environmental Science; Jennifer Croissant, associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Elizabeth “Betsy” Arnold, a professor in the School of Plant Sciences and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and William Riley, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the The University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including The University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). The University of Arizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), The University of Arizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. The University of Arizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved The University of Arizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    The University of Arizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. The University of Arizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The University of Arizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. The University of Arizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, University of Arizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. The University of Arizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, The University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    The University of Arizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    The University of Arizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at The University of Arizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Agency (US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, The University of Arizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of The University of Arizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.

    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:46 pm on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Two Impacts-Not Just One-May Have Formed The Moon", , , , ,   

    From Sky & Telescope : “Two Impacts-Not Just One-May Have Formed The Moon” 

    From Sky & Telescope

    October 14, 2021
    Asa Stahl

    1
    In this image, the proposed hit-and-run collision is simulated in 3D, shown about an hour after impact. Theia, the impactor, barely escapes the collision. A. Emsenhuber / The University of Bern [Universität Bern](CH) / The Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München](DE).

    Scientists have long thought that the Moon formed with a bang, when a protoplanet the size of Mars hit the newborn Earth. Evidence from Moon rocks and simulations back up this idea.

    But a new study suggests that the protoplanet most likely hit Earth twice. The first time, the impactor (dubbed “Theia”) only glanced off Earth. Then, some hundreds of thousands of years later, it came back to deliver the final blow.

    The study, which simulated the literally Earth-shattering impact thousands of times, found that such a “hit-and-run return” scenario could help answer two longstanding questions surrounding the creation of the Moon. At the same time, it might explain how Earth and Venus ended up so different.

    The One-Two Punch

    “The key issue here is planetary diversity,” says Erik Asphaug (The University of Arizona (US)), who led the study. Venus and Earth have similar sizes, masses, and distances from the Sun. If Venus is a “crushing hot-house,” he asks, “why is Earth so amazingly blue and rich?”

    The Moon might hold the secret. Its creation was the last major episode in Earth’s formation, a catastrophic event that set the stage for the rest of our planet’s evolution. “You can’t understand how Earth formed without understanding how the Moon formed,” Asphaug explains. “They are part of the same puzzle.”

    The new simulations, which were published in the October Journal of Planetary Sciences, put a few more pieces of that puzzle into place.

    The first has to do with the speed of Theia’s impact. If Theia had hit our planet too fast, it would have exploded into an interplanetary plume of debris and eroded much of Earth. Yet if it had come in too slowly, the result would be a Moon whose orbit looks nothing like what we see today. The original impact theory doesn’t explain why Theia traveled at a just-right speed between these extremes.

    “[This] new scenario fixes that,” says Matthias Meier (Natural History Museum, Switzerland), who was not involved in the study. Initially, Theia could have been going much faster, but the first impact would have slowed it down to the perfect speed for the second one.

    The other problem with the original impact theory is that our Moon ought to be mostly made of primordial Theia. But Moon rocks from the Apollo missions show that Earth and the Moon have nearly identical compositions when it comes to certain kinds of elements. How could they have formed from two different building blocks?

    “The canonical giant-impact scenario is really bad at solving [this issue],” Meier says (though others have tried).

    A hit-and-run return, on the other hand, would enable Earth’s and Theia’s materials to mix more than in a single impact, ultimately forming a Moon chemically more similar to Earth. Though Asphaug and colleagues don’t quite fix the mismatch, they argue that more advanced simulations would yield even better results.

    Earth vs. Venus

    Resolving this aspect of the giant-impact theory would be no mean feat. But Asphaug’s real surprise came when he saw how hit-and-run impacts would have affected Venus compared to Earth.

    “I first thought maybe there was a mistake,” he recalls.

    The new simulations showed that the young Earth tended to pass on half of its hit-and-runners to Venus, while Venus accreted almost everything that came its way. This dynamic could help explain the drastic differences between the two planets: If more runners ended up at Venus, they would have enriched the planet in more outer solar system material compared to Earth. And since the impactors that escaped Earth to go on to Venus would have been the faster ones, each planet would have experienced generally different collisions.

    This finding flips the original purpose of the study on its head. If Venus suffered more giant impacts than Earth, the question would no longer be “why does Earth have a moon?” but “why doesn’t Venus?”

    Perhaps there was only one hit-and-run event, the one that made our Moon. Perhaps there were many, but for the same reason that Venus collected more impacts than Earth, it also accreted more destructive debris, obliterating any moon it already had. Or perhaps the last of Venus’ impacts was just particularly violent.

    Finding out means taking a trip to Venus. That would provide “the next leap in understanding,” Meier says. If Earth and Venus both had hit-and-runs, for example, then the surface of Venus ought to be more like Earth’s than previously expected. If Venus has the same chemical similarities as the Moon and Earth, that would throw out the giant-impact theory’s last remaining problem.

    “Getting samples from Venus,” Asphaug concludes, “is the key to answering all these questions.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Sky & Telescope, founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer Jr. and Helen Spence Federer, has the largest, most experienced staff of any astronomy magazine in the world. Its editors are virtually all amateur or professional astronomers, and every one has built a telescope, written a book, done original research, developed a new product, or otherwise distinguished him or herself.

    Sky & Telescope magazine, now in its eighth decade, came about because of some happy accidents. Its earliest known ancestor was a four-page bulletin called The Amateur Astronomer, which was begun in 1929 by the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York City. Then, in 1935, the American Museum of Natural History opened its Hayden Planetarium and began to issue a monthly bulletin that became a full-size magazine called The Sky within a year. Under the editorship of Hans Christian Adamson, The Sky featured large illustrations and articles from astronomers all over the globe. It immediately absorbed The Amateur Astronomer.

    Despite initial success, by 1939 the planetarium found itself unable to continue financial support of The Sky. Charles A. Federer, who would become the dominant force behind Sky & Telescope, was then working as a lecturer at the planetarium. He was asked to take over publishing The Sky. Federer agreed and started an independent publishing corporation in New York.

    “Our first issue came out in January 1940,” he noted. “We dropped from 32 to 24 pages, used cheaper quality paper…but editorially we further defined the departments and tried to squeeze as much information as possible between the covers.” Federer was The Sky’s editor, and his wife, Helen, served as managing editor. In that January 1940 issue, they stated their goal: “We shall try to make the magazine meet the needs of amateur astronomy, so that amateur astronomers will come to regard it as essential to their pursuit, and professionals to consider it a worthwhile medium in which to bring their work before the public.”

     
  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Holey metalens!", , ,   

    From Harvard University John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US) : “Holey metalens!” 

    From Harvard University John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US)

    at


    Harvard University (US)

    October 13, 2021
    Leah Burrows

    New metalens focuses light with ultra-deep holes.

    1
    Holey metalens! New metalens focuses light with ultra-deep holes.

    Metasurfaces are nanoscale structures that interact with light. Today, most metasurfaces use monolith-like nanopillars to focus, shape and control light. The taller the nanopillar, the more time it takes for light to pass through the nanostructure, giving the metasurface more versatile control of each color of light. But very tall pillars tend to fall or cling together. What if, instead of building tall structures, you went the other way?

    In a recent paper, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) developed a metasurface that uses very deep, very narrow holes, rather than very tall pillars, to focus light to a single spot.

    The research is published in Nano Letters.

    The new metasurface uses more than 12 million needle-like holes drilled into a 5-micrometer silicon membrane, about 1/20 the thickness of hair. The diameter of these long, thin holes is only a few hundred nanometers, making the aspect ratio — the ratio of the height to width — nearly 30:1.

    It is the first time that holes with such a high aspect ratio have been used in meta-optics.

    “This approach may be used to create large achromatic metalenses that focus various colors of light to the same focal spot, paving the way for a generation of high-aspect ratio flat optics, including large-area broadband achromatic metalenses,” said Federico Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper.

    3
    A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image (left) of the holes on side I of the holey metalens and (right) SEM image of the holes on side II of the metalens. Credit: Capasso Lab/Harvard SEAS.

    “If you tried to make pillars with this aspect ratio, they would fall over,” said Daniel Lim, a graduate student at SEAS and co-first author of the paper. “The holey platform increases the accessible aspect ratio of optical nanostructures without sacrificing mechanical robustness.”

    Just like with nanopillars, which vary in size to focus light, the holey metalens has holes of varying size precisely positioned over the 2 mm lens diameter. The hole size variation bends the light towards the lens focus.

    “Holey metasurfaces add a new dimension to lens design by controlling the confinement and propagation of light over a wide parameter space and make new functionalities possible,” said Maryna Meretska, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first author of the paper. “Holes can be filled in with nonlinear optical materials, which will lead to multi-wavelength generation and manipulation of light, or with liquid crystals to actively modulate the properties of light.”

    The metalenses were fabricated using conventional semiconductor industry processes and standard materials, allowing it to be manufactured at scale in the future.

    The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.

    This project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), under award number HR00111810001. Lim is supported by A*STAR Singapore through the National Science Scholarship Scheme. Meretska is supported by NWO Rubicon Grant 019.173EN.010 from the Dutch Funding Agency NWO.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Through research and scholarship, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US) will create collaborative bridges across Harvard and educate the next generation of global leaders. By harnessing the power of engineering and applied sciences we will address the greatest challenges facing our society.

    Specifically, that means that SEAS will provide to all Harvard College students an introduction to and familiarity with engineering and technology as this is essential knowledge in the 21st century.

    Moreover, our concentrators will be immersed in the liberal arts environment and be able to understand the societal context for their problem solving, capable of working seamlessly with others, including those in the arts, the sciences, and the professional schools. They will focus on the fundamental engineering and applied science disciplines for the 21st century; as we will not teach legacy 20th century engineering disciplines.

    Instead, our curriculum will be rigorous but inviting to students, and be infused with active learning, interdisciplinary research, entrepreneurship and engineering design experiences. For our concentrators and graduate students, we will educate “T-shaped” individuals – with depth in one discipline but capable of working seamlessly with others, including arts, humanities, natural science and social science.

    To address current and future societal challenges, knowledge from fundamental science, art, and the humanities must all be linked through the application of engineering principles with the professions of law, medicine, public policy, design and business practice.

    In other words, solving important issues requires a multidisciplinary approach.

    With the combined strengths of SEAS, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools, Harvard is ideally positioned to both broadly educate the next generation of leaders who understand the complexities of technology and society and to use its intellectual resources and innovative thinking to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    Ultimately, we will provide to our graduates a rigorous quantitative liberal arts education that is an excellent launching point for any career and profession.

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:03 am on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New nanowire architectures boost computers' processing power", , ,   

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “New nanowire architectures boost computers’ processing power” 

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    15.10.21
    Sandy Evangelista

    Valerio Piazza is creating new 3D architectures built from an inventive form of nanowire. His research aims to push the boundaries of miniaturization and pave the way to more powerful electronic devices. He has just won the 2020 Piaget Scientific Award, whose prize money will fund his work at EPFL for a year.

    Piazza, a scientist at EPFL’s Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials, studies semiconductors on a nano scale. His focus is nanowires, or nanostructures made of semiconducting materials, and his goal is to move transistors beyond their saturation point. That’s because transistors are everywhere – in cars, traffic lights, and even coffee makers – but their miniaturization capacity is reaching a limit because existing designs are nearly saturated. “The main challenges we now face in processing power relate to overcoming the transistor saturation point, which we can do with nanowires and other kinds of nanostructures,” says Piazza 2020 Piaget Scientific Award.

    1
    Valerio Piazza characterizes nanowires to optimize their electrical properties © 2021 EPFL Alain Herzog.

    Much of the recent improvement in processing power stems from advancements in microfabrication methods. These methods are what have allowed engineers to develop compact, yet sophisticated electronic devices like smartphones and smartwatches. By reducing the size of transistors, engineers can fit more on a circuit, resulting in greater processing power for a given surface area. But that also means there’s a limit to just how small processers can go, based on the size of their transistors. At least that’s true for the current generation of processing technology. Piazza’s work aims to overcome that obstacle by developing new kinds of transistors based on nanowires for use in next-generation quantum computers.

    Today’s computers are made up of electronic components and integrated circuits like processing chips. Each bit corresponds to an electrical charge that indicates whether current is running through a wire or not (i.e., “on” or “off”). On the other hand, quantum computers are not limited to just two states but can accommodate an infinite number of states. The fundamental element of quantum computing is the qubit, which is the smallest unit of memory. And it’s precisely at this sub-micron level that Piazza is conducting his research.

    2
    Nanowires are made up of groups 3 and 5 of the atoms in the periodic table © 2021 EPFL Alain Herzog.

    Piazza’s horizontal nanowires – they can be vertical, too – are made up of atoms from groups III and V of the periodic table: gallium, aluminum, indium, nitrogen, phosphorus and arsenic. “Each step of our development work comes with its own set of challenges. First we have to nanostructure the substrate and create the material – here the challenge is to improve the quality of our crystals. Then we’ll need to characterize our nanowires, with the goal of improving their electrical properties,” he says.

    3
    A complex network of nanowires © 2021 EPFL Alain Herzog.

    Processor transistors currently measure around 10 nm. Piazza’s (horizontal) nanowires are the same size but should offer better electrical performance, depending on crystal quality. His method involves etching nanoconductors on substrate surfaces in order to create different patterns, which will let him test various structures for enhancing performance. “Take a city’s highways as an example. If there’s just one road, you can get only from Point A to Point B. But if there are lots of exits and side streets, you can travel to different neighborhoods and go even farther,” says Piazza. In other words, he’s creating a network. Over the next few months he’ll focus on identifying factors that could improve the process.

    The Piaget Scientific Award, sponsored by Piaget, is a prestigious award given out by EPFL every year to promote groundbreaking research in the broader field of miniaturization and microengineering. The award comes with prize money allowing the winner to conduct research at an EPFL lab for one year. It’s open to outstanding young PhD graduates who have the potential of becoming pioneering researchers in the field.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH) . Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices was located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganised and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich(CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organised into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences (SB, Jan S. Hesthaven)

    Institute of Mathematics (MATH, Victor Panaretos)
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC, Emsley Lyndon)
    Institute of Physics (IPHYS, Harald Brune)
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations (CECAM, Ignacio Pagonabarraga Mora)
    Bernoulli Center (CIB, Nicolas Monod)
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center (CIBM, Rolf Gruetter)
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME, Cécile Hébert)
    Max Planck-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology (CMNT, Thomas Rizzo)
    Swiss Plasma Center (SPC, Ambrogio Fasoli)
    Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO, Jean-Paul Kneib)

    School of Engineering (STI, Ali Sayed)

    Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL, Giovanni De Micheli)
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM, Thomas Gmür)
    Institute of Materials (IMX, Michaud Véronique)
    Institute of Microengineering (IMT, Olivier Martin)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Matthias Lütolf)

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC, Claudia R. Binder)

    Institute of Architecture (IA, Luca Ortelli)
    Civil Engineering Institute (IIC, Eugen Brühwiler)
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences (INTER, Philippe Thalmann)
    Environmental Engineering Institute (IIE, David Andrew Barry)

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC, James Larus)

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences (SV, Gisou van der Goot)

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies (SSV)
    Brain Mind Institute (BMI, Carmen Sandi)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Melody Swartz)
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC, Douglas Hanahan)
    Global Health Institute (GHI, Bruno Lemaitre)
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics (CPG)
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases (NCCR-SYNAPSY)

    College of Management of Technology (CDM)

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL (CDM-SFI, Damir Filipovic)
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-PMTE, Daniel Kuhn)
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy (CDM-ITPP, Matthias Finger)
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-MTEI, Ralf Seifert)
    Section of Financial Engineering (CDM-IF, Julien Hugonnier)

    College of Humanities (CDH, Thomas David)

    Human and social sciences teaching program (CDH-SHS, Thomas David)

    EPFL Middle East (EME, Dr. Franco Vigliotti)[62]

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability (MES, Prof. Maher Kayal)

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 10:40 am on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A New Link to an Old Model Could Crack the Mystery of Deep Learning", ANNs: artificial neural networks, , , SVMs: support vector machines   

    From Quanta Magazine (US) : “A New Link to an Old Model Could Crack the Mystery of Deep Learning” 

    From Quanta Magazine (US)

    October 11, 2021
    Anil Ananthaswamy

    1
    Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine.

    In the machine learning world, the sizes of artificial neural networks — and their outsize successes — are creating conceptual conundrums. When a network named AlexNet won an annual image recognition competition in 2012, it had about 60 million parameters. These parameters, fine-tuned during training, allowed AlexNet to recognize images that it had never seen before. Two years later, a network named VGG wowed the competition with more than 130 million such parameters. Some artificial neural networks, or ANNs, now have billions of parameters.

    These massive networks — astoundingly successful at tasks such as classifying images, recognizing speech and translating text from one language to another — have begun to dominate machine learning and artificial intelligence. Yet they remain enigmatic. The reason behind their amazing power remains elusive.

    But a number of researchers are showing that idealized versions of these powerful networks are mathematically equivalent to older, simpler machine learning models called kernel machines. If this equivalence can be extended beyond idealized neural networks, it may explain how practical ANNs achieve their astonishing results.

    Part of the mystique of artificial neural networks is that they seem to subvert traditional machine learning theory, which leans heavily on ideas from statistics and probability theory. In the usual way of thinking, machine learning models — including neural networks, trained to learn about patterns in sample data in order to make predictions about new data — work best when they have just the right number of parameters.

    If the parameters are too few, the learned model can be too simple and fail to capture all the nuances of the data it’s trained on. Too many and the model becomes overly complex, learning the patterns in the training data with such fine granularity that it cannot generalize when asked to classify new data, a phenomenon called overfitting. “It’s a balance between somehow fitting your data too well and not fitting it well at all. You want to be in the middle,” said Mikhail Belkin, a machine learning researcher at The University of California-San Diego (US).

    By all accounts, deep neural networks like VGG have way too many parameters and should overfit. But they don’t. Instead, such networks generalize astoundingly well to new data — and until recently, no one knew why. It wasn’t for lack of trying. For example, Naftali Tishby, a computer scientist and neuroscientist at the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem הַאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה הַעִבְרִית בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם‎ (IL) who died in August, argued that deep neural networks first fit the training data and then discard irrelevant information (by going through an information bottleneck), which helps them generalize. But others have argued that this doesn’t happen in all types of deep neural networks, and the idea remains controversial.

    Now, the mathematical equivalence of kernel machines and idealized neural networks is providing clues to why or how these over-parameterized networks arrive at (or converge to) their solutions. Kernel machines are algorithms that find patterns in data by projecting the data into extremely high dimensions. By studying the mathematically tractable kernel equivalents of idealized neural networks, researchers are learning why deep nets, despite their shocking complexity, converge during training to solutions that generalize well to unseen data.

    “A neural network is a little bit like a Rube Goldberg machine. You don’t know which part of it is really important,” said Belkin. “I think reducing [them] to kernel methods — because kernel methods don’t have all this complexity — somehow allows us to isolate the engine of what’s going on.”

    Find the Line

    Kernel methods, or kernel machines, rely on an area of mathematics with a long history. It goes back to the 19th-century German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who came up with the eponymous Gaussian kernel, which maps a variable x to a function with the familiar shape of a bell curve. The modern usage of kernels took off in the early 20th century, when the English mathematician James Mercer used them for solving integral equations. By the 1960s, kernels were being used in machine learning to tackle data that was not amenable to simple techniques of classification.

    Understanding kernel methods requires starting with algorithms in machine learning called linear classifiers. Let’s say that cats and dogs can be classified using data in only two dimensions, meaning that you need two features (say the size of the snout, which we can plot on the x-axis, and the size of the ears, which goes on the y-axis) to tell the two types of animals apart. Plot this labeled data on the xy-plane, and cats should be in one cluster and dogs in another.

    One can then train a linear classifier using the labeled data to find a straight line that separates the two clusters. This involves finding the coefficients of the equation representing the line. Now, given new unlabeled data, it’s easy to classify it as a dog or a cat by seeing which side of the line it falls on.

    Dog and cat lovers, however, would be aghast at such oversimplification. Actual data about the snouts and ears of the many types of cats and dogs almost certainly can’t be divided by a linear separator. In such situations, when the data is linearly inseparable, it can be transformed or projected into a higher-dimensional space. (One simple way to do this would be to multiply the value of two features to create a third; maybe there is something about the correlation between the sizes of the snouts and ears that separates dogs from cats.)

    More generally, looking at the data in higher-dimensional space makes it easier to find a linear separator, known as a hyperplane when the space has more than three dimensions. When this hyperplane is projected back to the lower dimensions, it’ll take the shape of a nonlinear function with curves and wiggles that separates the original lower-dimensional data into two clusters.

    When we’re working with real data, though, it’s often computationally inefficient — and sometimes impossible — to find the coefficients of the hyperplane in high dimensions. But it isn’t for kernel machines.

    Kernel of Truth

    The power of kernel machines involves their ability to do two things. First, they map each point in a low-dimensional data set to a point that lives in higher dimensions. The dimensionality of this hyperspace can be infinite, depending on the mapping, which can pose a problem: Finding the coefficients of the separating hyperplane involves calculating something called an inner product for each pair of high-dimensional features, and that becomes difficult when the data is projected into infinite dimensions.

    2
    Samuel Velasco/Quanta Magazine.

    So here’s the second thing kernel machines do: Given two low-dimensional data points, they use a kernel function to spit out a number that’s equal to the inner product of the corresponding higher-dimensional features. Crucially, the algorithm can use this trick to find the coefficients of the hyperplane, without ever actually stepping into the high-dimensional space.

    “The great thing about the kernel trick is that all the computations happen in the low-dimensional space” rather than the possibly infinite-dimensional space, said Bernhard Boser, a professor emeritus at The University of California-Berkeley (US).

    Boser, together with his colleagues Isabelle Guyon and Vladimir Vapnik, invented a class of kernel machines called support vector machines (SVMs) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they were all at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey. While kernel machines of various types had made their mark in machine learning from the 1960s onward, it was with the invention of SVMs that they took center stage. SVMs proved extraordinarily powerful. By the early 2000s, they were used in fields as diverse as bioinformatics (for finding similarities between different protein sequences and predicting the functions of proteins, for example), machine vision and handwriting recognition.

    SVMs went on to dominate machine learning until deep neural networks came of age in 2012 with the arrival of AlexNet. As the machine learning community pivoted to ANNs, SVMs were left stranded, but they (and kernel machines generally) remain powerful models that have much to teach us. For example, they can do more than just use the kernel trick to find a separating hyperplane.

    “If you have a powerful kernel, then you are mapping the data to a kernel space that is kind of infinite-dimensional and very powerful,” said Chiyuan Zhang, a research scientist at Google Research’s Brain Team. “You can always find a linear separator in this powerful hidden space that separates the data, and there are infinitely many possible solutions.” But kernel theory lets you pick not just an arbitrary linear separator, but the best possible one (for some definition of “best”), by limiting the space of solutions to search. This is akin to reducing the number of parameters in a model to prevent it from overfitting, a process called regularization. Zhang wondered if deep neural networks might be doing something similar.

    Deep neural networks are made of layers of artificial neurons. They have an input layer, an output layer and at least one hidden layer sandwiched between them. The more hidden layers there are, the deeper the network. The parameters of the network represent the strengths of the connections between these neurons. Training a network for, say, image recognition involves repeatedly showing it previously categorized images and determining values for its parameters that help it correctly characterize those images. Once trained, the ANN represents a model for turning an input (say, an image) into an output (a label or category).

    In 2017, Zhang and colleagues carried out a series of empirical tests on networks like AlexNet and VGG to see whether the algorithms that are used to train these ANNs are somehow effectively reducing the number of tunable parameters, resulting in a form of implicit regularization. In other words, did the training regime render these networks incapable of overfitting?

    The team found that this was not the case. Using cleverly manipulated data sets, Zhang’s team showed that AlexNet and other such ANNs are indeed capable of overfitting and not generalizing. But the same networks trained with the same algorithm didn’t overfit — rather, they generalized well — when given unaltered data. This kind of implicit regularization couldn’t be the answer. The finding called for “a better explanation to characterize generalization in deep neural networks,” said Zhang.

    Infinite Neurons

    Meanwhile, studies were showing that wider neural networks are typically as good or better at generalization than their narrower counterparts. To some this was a hint that maybe ANNs could be understood by adopting a strategy from physics, where “studying limiting cases can sometimes simplify a problem,” said Yasaman Bahri, a research scientist on Google Research’s Brain Team. To tackle such situations, physicists often simplify the problem by considering extreme cases. What happens when the number of particles in a system goes to infinity, for example? “Statistical effects can become easier to deal with in those limits,” said Bahri. What would happen to a neural network, mathematically speaking, if the width of its layers — the number of neurons in a single layer — were infinite?

    In 1994, Radford Neal, now a professor emeritus at The University of Toronto (CA), asked this exact question of a network with a single hidden layer. He showed that if the weights of this network were set up, or initialized, with certain statistical properties, then at initialization (before any training), such a network was mathematically equivalent to a well-known kernel function called a Gaussian process. More than two decades later, in 2017, two groups, including Bahri’s, showed that the same holds true of idealized infinite-width deep neural networks with many hidden layers.

    This had a startling implication. Usually, even after a deep net has been trained, an analytical mathematical expression cannot be used to make predictions about unseen data. You just have to run the deep net and see what it says — it’s something of a black box. But in the idealized scenario, at initialization the network is equivalent to a Gaussian process. You can throw away your neural network and just train the kernel machine, for which you have the mathematical expressions.

    “Once you map it over to a Gaussian process … you can calculate analytically what the prediction should be,” said Bahri.

    This was already a landmark result, but it didn’t mathematically describe what happens during the most common form of training used in practice. In this latter setting, it was unclear how the solution could generalize so well.

    Begin the Descent

    Part of the mystery centered on how deep neural networks are trained, which involves an algorithm called gradient descent. The word “descent” refers to the fact that, during training, the network traverses a complex, high-dimensional landscape full of hills and valleys, where each location in the landscape represents the error made by the network for a given set of parameter values. Eventually, once the parameters have been suitably tuned, the ANN reaches a region called the global minimum, meaning it’s as close as possible to accurately classifying the training data. Training a network is essentially a problem of optimization, of finding the global minimum, with the trained network representing an almost optimal function that maps inputs to outputs. It’s a complex process that’s difficult to analyze.

    “No existing theory can guarantee that if you apply some widely used algorithm like gradient descent, [the ANN] can converge to the global minimum,” said Simon Du, an expert on machine learning at The University of Washington(US). By the end of 2018, we began to understand why.

    Again, as often happens with major scientific advances, multiple groups arrived at a possible answer at the same time, based on mathematical analyses of infinite-width networks and how they relate to the better-understood kernel machines. Around the time Du’s group and others put out papers, a young Swiss graduate student named Arthur Jacot presented his group’s work at NeurIPS 2018, the field’s flagship conference.

    While the teams differed in the details and the framing of their work, the essence was this: Deep neural networks of infinite width, whose weights are initialized with certain statistical properties in mind, are exactly equivalent to kernels not just at initialization, but throughout the training process. A key assumption about the weights is that they individually change very little during training (though the net effect of an infinite number of small changes is significant). Given such assumptions, Jacot and his colleagues at the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH) showed that an infinite-width deep neural network is always equivalent to a kernel that never changes during training. It does not even depend on the training data. The kernel function depends only on the architecture of the neural network, such as its depth and type of connectivity. The team named their kernel the neural tangent kernel, based on some of its geometric properties.

    “We know that at least in some cases neural networks can behave like kernel methods,” said Jacot. “It’s the first step to try to really compare these methods in trying to understand the similarities and differences.”

    Getting to All ANNs

    The most important outcome of this result is that it explains why deep neural networks, at least in this ideal scenario, converge to a solution. This convergence is difficult to prove mathematically when we look at an ANN in parameter space, that is, in terms of its parameters and the complex loss landscape. But because the idealized deep net is equivalent to a kernel machine, we can use the training data to train either the deep net or the kernel machine, and each will eventually find a near-optimal function that transforms inputs to outputs.

    During training, the evolution of the function represented by the infinite-width neural network matches the evolution of the function represented by the kernel machine. When seen in function space, the neural network and its equivalent kernel machine both roll down a simple, bowl-shaped landscape in some hyper-dimensional space. It’s easy to prove that gradient descent will get you to the bottom of the bowl — the global minimum. At least for this idealized scenario, “you can prove global convergence,” said Du. “That’s why the learning theory community people are very excited.”

    Not everyone is convinced that this equivalence between kernels and neural networks will hold for practical neural networks, which have finite width and whose parameters can change dramatically during training. “I think there are some dots that still need to be connected,” said Zhang. There’s also the psychological aspect: Neural networks have a mystique about them, and to reduce them to kernel machines feels disappointing for Zhang. “I kind of hope it’s not the answer, because it makes things less interesting in the sense that the old theory can be used.”

    But others are excited. Belkin, for example, thinks that even if kernel methods are old theory, they are still not fully understood. His team has shown empirically that kernel methods don’t overfit and do generalize well to test data without any need for regularization, similar to neural networks and contrary to what you’d expect from traditional learning theory. “If we understand what’s going on with kernel methods, then I think that really gives us a key to open this magic box of [neural networks],” said Belkin.

    Not only do researchers have a firmer mathematical grasp of kernels, making it easier to use them as analogues to understand neural nets, but they’re also empirically easier to work with than neural networks. Kernels are far less complex, they don’t require the random initialization of parameters, and their performance is more reproducible. Researchers have begun investigating links between realistic networks and kernels and are excited to see just how far they can take this new understanding.

    “If we establish absolute, complete equivalence, then I think it would kind of change the whole game,” said Belkin.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Formerly known as Simons Science News, Quanta Magazine (US) is an editorially independent online publication launched by the Simons Foundation to enhance public understanding of science. Why Quanta? Albert Einstein called photons “quanta of light.” Our goal is to “illuminate science.” At Quanta Magazine, scientific accuracy is every bit as important as telling a good story. All of our articles are meticulously researched, reported, edited, copy-edited and fact-checked.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Funding the future of European space through OSIP in 2021", , OSIP: Open Space Innovation Platform   

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “Funding the future of European space through OSIP in 2021” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)

    14/10/2021

    1

    What do high-tech sponges, aircraft shaped like falcons and 3D printers on the Moon have in common?

    They can all be found among the topics of the 87 research and development activities funded by ESA’s Discovery & Preparation programme between November 2020 and April 2021.

    ESA set up the Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) to discover and invest in new unconventional ideas that could greatly benefit and advance European space industry and academia.

    Here, the minds behind six of the projects funded between November and April tell us about their projects, motivations and goals, as well as the ways in which ESA Discovery funding is helping them take their activity to the next level.

    Shapeshifting aircraft inspired by nature

    2

    Inspired by the high-speed dive of the peregrine falcon, a team from Stellar Advanced Concepts is creating a proof-of-concept unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with shape-shifting wings. Once released from a satellite in orbit or a high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS), the UAV would descend to specific altitudes to carry out tasks such as observing natural disaster areas or carrying out search and rescue operations.

    “Whether for controlled entry from orbit or returning reusable launchers, exploiting aerodynamic lift has great potential for expanding the range of applications of space vehicles,” says ESA technical officer for the project, Johan Steelant.

    “In the near term, the goal of the activity is to offer UAV products that can fold their wings like birds for controlled diving from high-altitude and when they land,” says Mike Newsam of the Stellar Advanced Concepts team. “When combined with sensors and AI, this technology could enable UAVs designed to protect airports to quickly intercept and capture malicious drones like a peregrine falcon. In the long term, advanced morphing winglets for passenger aircraft could offer performance improvements and reduce emissions.”

    “Support from ESA has allowed us to pursue cutting-edge technology that is high risk, high reward from a business perspective,” continues Newsam. “Feedback from ESA experts has also given us new application ideas to consider such as morphing winglets for reusable launch vehicles. We feel an ESA funded programme gives a strong credibility boost to early technology developments at start-ups and SMEs.”

    Easier access to Earth observation insights

    2
    Aletsch Glacier, Alps.

    How much have glaciers moved in the last five years? Accessing and analysing the data necessary to answer this question would usually require advanced scientific and computational expertise. But what if you could get the answer by simply asking that exact question to a computer? That is the goal of a team at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH) who are designing an AI assistant for interacting with Earth observation data.

    “The project is exploring new ways for humans to interact with remote sensing data,” says Devis Tuia, project leader at EPFL. “Our PhD candidate Christel Chappuis is developing a machine learning model that will allow non-experts to access the information contained in Earth observation data by simply asking questions as they would to another human. The model will make the connection between the natural language of the question and the relevant image data and analysis to provide useful answers.”

    “This type of co-funded research between ESA and leading universities and research centres in Europe accelerates the exchange of ideas,” says Bertrand Le Saux, ESA technical officer. “This is especially helpful in leveraging the rapid progress of fields like natural language processing for space applications.”

    By making Earth observation insights easier to access, the project could expand the audience of potential entrepreneurs and policymakers, leading to the creation of new, unforeseen business ideas and increasing the impact of the data on the economy and society.

    High-tech sponges for reliable radiation shielding

    3

    Astronauts are exposed to high levels of space radiation, especially when out on a spacewalk. Past ESA projects have developed spacesuits that use water to shield the most radiation-sensitive parts of the body, and these have been tested on board the International Space Station.

    But using liquid water results in uneven and bulky containers with the potential to leak. A co-funded project led by Ghent University [Universiteit Gent](BE) is addressing this by replacing the liquid with superabsorbent polymers that can instead absorb several hundred times their own weight in water. This should result in more resilient and comfortable personal radiation shielding for astronauts.

    “ESA’s increasing involvement in human exploration at the Moon and on to Mars has renewed the focus on one of the greatest challenges for human spaceflight – radiation,” says Riccardo Rampini, ESA technical officer.

    “The support from ESA Discovery is allowing us to tackle the challenges we’ve encountered in the project and to develop and test new materials together with experts at ESA,” says Tom Gheysens, who leads the team at Ghent University. “If all goes well, we will be on the verge of a brand-new type of radiation-shielding spacesuit.”

    In addition to protecting the astronauts of space agencies such as ESA, reliable and comfortable radiation shielding will also be crucial for the emerging commercial space tourism industry.

    A self-growing 3D printer for the Moon

    3

    Plants are the factories of nature, transforming minerals and water into structural organic matter, such as fibres and cellulose. Could we harness these processes on the Moon? A research team from the Trieste University [Università degli studi di Trieste](IT) is examining the feasibility of using vegetable fibres grown in situ on the Moon to produce the raw material for a 3D printer.

    “Building a base for humans on the Moon or Mars will require resources for the construction of its structures and facilities. But these resources are heavy, bulky and thus very expensive to ship out of Earth’s gravity,” says Advenit Makaya, ESA technical officer for the project.

    A small 3D printer transported to the lunar surface could then use this locally grown and harvested organic material to fabricate new complex and scalable modules that would then be attached to the printer by a robot – allowing the printer to ‘grow’ and expand its production capabilities.

    “We at the University of Trieste believe that this meeting point between 3D printing and cultivation has the potential to be a key technology in the temporary or long-term settlement of the Moon. The funding and support from ESA have allowed us to explore the underlying features and issues of this paradigm; ultimately, it will enable us to overcome some of its core challenges, bringing the technology forward and closer to a realistic implementation plan.”

    Tracking plastic in Indonesian waterways

    4

    Rivers are a major source of the plastic pollution that enters the ocean. As plastic travels down rivers, it can aggregate to form larger patches that may be identifiable based on the way they reflect certain wavelengths of light.

    A team from Deltares is investigating the possibility of detecting these plastic waste aggregations using remote sensing data collected by optical and microwave sensors on a range of European satellites.

    “The ability to monitor plastic waste in rivers would support researchers modelling how plastic pollution flows from the land into the marine environment and help us evaluate the effectiveness of waste management policies,” says ESA technical officer Paolo Corradi. “Together with the other projects of this ESA Discovery Campaign, the activity will help develop and improve plastic pollution detection techniques and technologies for current and future remote sensing missions.”

    “The support from ESA Discovery provides us access to the range of different satellite sensors we need in order to develop a multi-sensor monitoring method for detecting floating plastic waste,” says Marieke Eleveld from Deltares. “By combining this satellite data with the data our team collects on site using a RiverRecycle plastic capture system, and advancing the relevant data science techniques, we hope to provide regional and national governments with much needed information for the design and evaluation of measures for reducing the plastic waste that reaches the ocean.”

    Spinning in AI to support space engineering activities

    5

    Much of the crucial information in engineering documents is still text-based, either because the return-on-investment of introducing models is too low or because the information is more efficiently expressed in natural language – even if that can lead to inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

    A team from Thales Alenia Space is studying how AI-powered natural language processing can help space engineers reduce the cost and the lead time of their activities by improving how they navigate important textual content, providing links between and confirming the consistency of relevant documents, and facilitating the efficient reuse of knowledge.

    “Everything from mission requirements to user manuals are text-based,” says ESA technical officer Jean-Loup Terraillon. “So this activity will impact engineering activities throughout the life cycle of a space mission.”

    “Artificial intelligence will play a big role in the future of space engineering, greatly improving productivity, reducing costs and helping us manage the ever-increasing complexity of missions,” says Gerald Garcia of Thales Alenia Space. “Our project has set out to answer the questions of ‘how?’ and ‘when?’. As the European space community, we need to begin preparing right now to maintain our competitive advantage, and we are thankful to ESA’s Discovery & Preparation programme for supporting us on this road!”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL)in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    [caption id="attachment_30137" align="alignnone" width="632"] ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency(US), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programmes

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, the Canadian Space Agency takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organisations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US)

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.


    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 9:22 am on October 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Working towards a Digital Twin of Earth", Digital Twin Antarctica, Digital Twin Climate Impacts, Digital Twin Food Systems, Digital Twin Forest, Digital Twin Hydrology, Digital Twin Ocean, , , Hydrology Digital Twin project   

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “Working towards a Digital Twin of Earth” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)

    14/10/2021

    1
    Luca Brocca presenting the Hydrology Digital Twin at Φ-week.
    14/10/2021
    Today, as part of the fourth edition of Φ-week, Luca Brocca, from the National Research Council, Italy, presents updates from the Hydrology Digital Twin project. © ESA.

    How can a digital replica of Earth help us understand our planet’s past, present and future? As part of the fourth edition of Φ-week taking place this week, a group of European scientists have put forward their ideas on the practical implementation of Digital Twins and the potential application areas for a Digital Twin Earth in the real world.

    In the coming decades, population growth and human activities are expected to amplify the current pressures on critical resources such as fresh water and food, intensify the stress on land and marine ecosystems, as well as increase environmental pollution and its impacts on health and biodiversity.

    These threats, comprising rising sea levels, increasing ocean acidification and more intense extreme events like floods and heatwaves, will need to be closely monitored, especially for our most vulnerable populations.

    Responding to these challenges, ESA came together at the 2020 edition of Φ-week to discuss how Earth observation can contribute to the creation of a digital twin of Earth – a dynamic, digital replica of our planet which accurately mimics Earth’s behaviour.

    Constantly fed with Earth observation data, combined with in situ measurements and artificial intelligence, Digital Twin Earth will help visualise and forecast natural and human activity on the planet. The model will be able to monitor the health of the planet, perform simulations of Earth’s interconnected system with human behaviour, and help support European environmental policies.

    In September 2020, ESA launched several Digital Twin Earth Precursor Activities to explore some of the main scientific and technical challenges in building a digital twin of Earth. These activities included: Forest, Hydrology, Antarctica, Food Systems, Ocean and Climate Hot Spots.

    Each activity addressed a different scientific, technical and operational challenge regarding Digital Twin Earth including the role of artificial intelligence and consistent data, stakeholder engagement scientific credibility and role of sectorial models and Information and Communication Technology (ITC) infrastructure.

    At this year’s Φ-week, experts from the community came forward with the results of the activities over the last year.

    Digital Twin Antarctica

    Antarctica is a major reservoir of freshwater in the word, with a huge potential to contribute to sea level rise in the future. Current ice sheet models present major differences and deviations among models, as well as strong variability in unstable areas.

    Therefore, a digital twin of Antarctica is necessary. Noel Gourmelen, from the The University of Edinburgh (SCT) commented, “By harnessing satellite observations, numerical simulations, and Artificial Intelligence, we have built a twin of the Antarctic ice sheet system, its hydrology, surrounding ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere. We have used the Antarctic twin to track the whereabouts of melt water on and under the ice sheet, and to explore how fringing ice shelves melt under various hydrology scenarios.”


    Digital Twin Antarctica.

    Digital Twin Food Systems

    The Food Systems digital twin simulates agricultural activities and interactions within ecosystems on a daily basis. Different models can be run separately for each simulation unit, depending on crop, water and irrigation management system.

    Chandra Taposea, from CGI IT UK Lt, said, “Digital Twin Earths and the scope we are trying to achieve is vital in helping us reach the next step in sense-making and decision-making, and be able to help both individual users and large-scale policy makers. Our Food Systems Digital Twin has managed to integrate models from different domains, looking at how extreme precipitation would affect global crop models, but not without its trials and tribulations.”

    Digital Twin Hydrology

    Luca Brocca, from the National Research Council-Italy [Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche](IT), explains what the Hydrology Digital Twin entails, “In the ESA Digital Twin Earth Hydrology project, we have developed a 4D reconstruction of dynamic hydrology at unprecedented resolution through the integration of Earth observation and an advanced modelling system. The DTE Hydrology Prototype has been used for water resources management and for identifying locations and times of risk for landslides and flooding in the Po River Basin, in northern Italy.”


    Digital Twin Hydrology
    13/10/2021
    Computer models are used to simulate aspects of the natural world, such as the water cycle within river basins. Satellite observations can be used to improve the accuracy and spatio-temporal detail of hydrological models. Satellite and ground observations are combined with the model in a ‘data cube’ to derive parameters such as river discharge rate. The data cube can be used for water resource management and to identify locations and times of risk. © Planetary Visions (credit: ESA/Planetary Visions)

    Digital Twin Climate Impacts

    The Climate Impacts Digital Twin will enable decision makers, without expert technical knowledge, to generate and visualise, in real-time, decision-relevant information related to regionalised impacts of climate change.

    Robert Parker, from The University of Leicester (UK), said, “Our Climate Impact Explorer Digital Twin, initially focused on African drought, utilises an innovative combination of Earth observation, environmental modelling and Machine Learning to bring enhanced decision support capabilities directly to our stakeholders.

    “By emulating these complex models and deploying them as fast and simple cloud-based tools, our prototype helps democratise access to these expert systems, giving stakeholders the capability to explore potential climate-driven drought responses.”

    Digital Twin Forest

    Matti Motus, Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland[Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus](FI), explains how the Forest Digital Twin works: “This digital twin will be a specialised Digital Twin of Earth, providing a reconstruction of the forest system at levels of detail not possible with generic land surface models. Satellite-based Earth observation, especially the high-quality Copernicus Sentinel data, allows us to get unique and uniform information for all forests of the globe.

    “Translating this into understanding on forest structure and to drive models of forest functioning requires local measurements, which are far more scattered and heterogeneous. In the precursor project, we have learned how to overcome these obstacles and provide growth and carbon balance predictions for different forests in Europe. We know now that we have the basic tools and the computing power to build a fully functioning digital twin of forests. It has been a very exciting, yet demanding journey, especially considering that it was fully implemented during the Covid-related restrictions.”

    Digital Twin Ocean

    This Digital Twin Ocean will focus on exploring the potential of artificial intelligence to learn directly from its data, from the past and the behaviour of the Earth system to predict the future to forecast oceanic events.

    Betrand Chapron, from IFREMER [(Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer](FR), said, “The Digital Twin Ocean project addresses two very distinct phenomena in two very contrasting ocean basins: machine heatwaves in the Mediterranean Sea, and sea ice dynamics to help assess the Arctic amplification. Put simply, two strategies were followed.

    “The first was the data-driven approach, where data augmented by regularly sampled numerical operational model assimilating data, are used to drive capabilities to visualise and analyse the recurrences of the ocean-atmosphere dynamical systems, and the model-driven approach, where very high numerical simulations, augmented by irregularly sampled data, are used to assess the large scales and long-term consequences of small scales.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL)in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    [caption id="attachment_30137" align="alignnone" width="632"] ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency(US), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programmes

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, the Canadian Space Agency takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organisations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US)

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)/European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.
    [/caption]

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.


    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 9:16 pm on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Rocky exoplanets and their host stars may have similar composition", , , , ,   

    From IAC Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias] (ES) : “Rocky exoplanets and their host stars may have similar composition” 

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía

    From IAC Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias] (ES)

    14/10/2021

    Garik Israelian
    gil@iac.es

    1
    Illustration of the formation of a planet round a star similar to the Sun, with rocks and iron molecules in the foreground. Credit: Tania Cunha (Harbor Planetarium [Planetário do Porto](PT) – Centro Ciência Viva & Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço).

    Newly formed stars have protoplanetary discs around them. A fraction of the material in the disc condenses into planet-forming chunks, and the rest finally falls into the star. Because of their common origin, researchers have assumed that the composition of these chunks and that of the rocky planets with low masses should be similar to that of their host stars. However, until now the Solar System was the only available reference for the astronomers.

    In a new research article, published today in the journal Science, an international team of astronomers led by the researcher Vardan Adibekyan, of The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA), with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has established for the first time a correlation between the composition of rocky exoplanets and that of their host stars. The study also shows that this relation does not correspond exactly to the relation previously assumed.

    “The team found that the composition of rocky planets is closely related to the composition of their host stars, which could help us to identify planets which may be similar to ours”, explains Vardan Adibekyan, the first author on the paper. “In addition, the iron content of these planets is higher than that predicted from the composition of the protoplanetary discs from which they formed, which is due to the specific characteristics of the formation processes of planets, and the chemistry of the discs. Our work supports models of planet formation and a level of certainty and detail without precedent”, he added.

    For Garik Israelian, an IAC researcher and co-author of the article, this result could not have been imagined in the year 2000. “At that time we tried to find a correlation between the chemical composition of certain solar type stars and the presence of planets orbiting them (or of their orbital characteristics). It was hard to believe that twenty years later these studies would grow to include the metal abundances of planets similar to the Earth”, he emphasises.

    “For us this would have seemed to be science fiction. Planets similar to the Earth were not yet known, and we concentrated only on the planets we could find, and on the parameters of their orbits around their host stars. And today, we are studying the chemical composition of the interiors and of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. It is a great leap forward”, he added.

    To establish the relation, the team selected twenty-one rocky planets which had been characterized most accurately, using their measurements of mass and radius to determine their densities and their iron content. They also used high-resolution spectra from the latest generation of spectrographs in the major world observatories: at Mauna Kea (Hawaii), at La Silla and Paranal (Chile) and at the Roque de los Muchachos, (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands), to determine the compositions of their host stars, and of the most critical components for the formation of rocks in the protoplanetary discs.

    “Understanding the link in the composition between the stars and their planets has been a basic aspect of research in our centre for over a decade. Using the best high-resolution spectrographs, such as HARPS and ESPRESSO at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), our team has collected spectra of the host stars of exoplanets for several years.

    These spectra were used to determine the stellar parameters and abundances of the host stars, and the results have been put together in the published catalogue SWEET-Cat”, explained Nuno Santos, a researcher at the IA and a co-author of the article.

    The team also found an intriguing result. They found differences in the fraction of iron between the super earths and super mercurys, which implies that these planets seem to constitute different populations in terms of composition, with further implications for their formation. This finding will need more studies, because the simulations of the formation of planets, incorporating collision, cannot by themselves reproduce the super mercurys of high density. “Understanding the formation of the super mercurys will help us to understand the especially high density of Mercury”, Adibekyan assures us.

    This research was carried out in the framework of the project “Observational Tests of the Processes of Nucleosynthesis in the Universe” started in the year 2000 by the IAC researcher Garik Israelian; Michel Mayor, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2019; and Nuno Santos, researcher at the IA.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    IAC Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias] (ES) operates two astronomical observatories in the Canary Islands:

    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma
    Teide Observatory on Tenerife.

    The seeing statistics at ORM make it the second-best location for optical and infrared astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere, after Mauna Kea Observatory Hawaii (US).

    Maunakea Observatories Hawai’i (US) altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft)

    The site also has some of the most extensive astronomical facilities in the Northern Hemisphere; its fleet of telescopes includes the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope as of July 2009, the William Herschel Telescope (second largest in Europe), and the adaptive optics corrected Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias ](ES) sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level.

    The observatory was established in 1985, after 15 years of international work and cooperation of several countries with the Spanish island hosting many telescopes from Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, and other countries. The island provided better seeing conditions for the telescopes that had been moved to Herstmonceux by the Royal Greenwich Observatory, including the 98 inch aperture Isaac Newton Telescope (the largest reflector in Europe at that time). When it was moved to the island it was upgraded to a 100-inch (2.54 meter), and many even larger telescopes from various nations would be hosted there.

    Teide Observatory [Observatorio del Teide], IAU code 954, is an astronomical observatory on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres (7,840 ft), located on Tenerife, Spain. It has been operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias since its inauguration in 1964. It became one of the first major international observatories, attracting telescopes from different countries around the world because of the good astronomical seeing conditions. Later the emphasis for optical telescopes shifted more towards Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:20 pm on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How do ice giants maintain their magnetic fields?", ,   

    From Carnegie Institution for Science (US) : “How do ice giants maintain their magnetic fields?” 

    Carnegie Institution for Science

    From Carnegie Institution for Science (US)

    A layer of “hot,” electrically conductive ice could be responsible for generating the magnetic fields of ice giant planets like Uranus and Neptune. New work from Carnegie and The University of Chicago (US)’s Center for Advanced Radiation Sources reveals the conditions under which two such superionic ices form. Their findings are published in Nature Physics.

    1

    As all school children learn, water molecules are made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom—H20. As the conditions in which water exists change, the organization and properties of these molecules are affected. We can see this in our everyday lives when liquid water is boiled into steam or frozen into ice.

    The molecules that comprise ordinary ice that you might find in your drinking glass or on your driveway in winter arranged in a crystalline lattice held together by hydrogen bonds between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Hydrogen bonds are highly versatile. This means that ice can exist in a striking diversity of different structures—at least 18 known forms—which emerge under increasingly extreme environmental conditions.

    Of particular interest is so-called superionic ice, formed at very high pressures and temperatures, in which the traditional water molecule bonds are shifted, allowing the hydrogen molecules to float freely in an oxygen lattice. This mobility makes the ice capable of conducting electricity almost as well as a metallic material.

    Observations of hot, superionic ice created in the lab have led to contradictory results and there has been a great deal of disagreement about the exact conditions under which the new properties emerge.

    “So, our research team, led by the University of Chicago’s Vitali Prakapenka, set out to use multiple spectroscopic tools to map changes in ice’s structure and properties under conditions ranging up to 1.5 million times normal atmospheric pressure and about 11,200 degrees Fahrenheit,” explained Carnegie’s Alexander Goncharov.

    2
    Figure illustrating how the experiments were performed, revealing two forms of superionic ice, courtesy of Vitali Prakapenka.

    By doing this, the scientists—also including Nicholas Holtgrewe formerly of Carnegie, now at The Food and Drug Administration (US) in St Louis, and Sergey Lobanov, formerly of Carnegie, now at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) [Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Geowissenschaften] (DE)—were able to pinpoint the emergence of two forms of superionic ice, one of which they suggest could be found in the interiors of ice giant planets Uranus and Neptune.

    “In order to probe the structure of this unique state of matter under very extreme conditions—heated by a laser and compressed between two diamonds—we used the ANL Advanced Photon Source (US)’s brilliant high-energy synchrotron x-ray beam, which was focused down to about 3 micrometers, 30 times smaller than a single human hair,” said Prakapenka, explaining the work done using the facility’s GSECARS beamline.

    “These experiments are so challenging that we had to run a few thousand of them over a decade to get enough high-quality data to solve the long-standing mystery of high-pressure, high-temperature behavior of ice under conditions relevant to giant planet interiors.”

    “Simulations have indicated that the magnetic fields of these two planets are generated in thin, fluid layers found at relatively shallow depths,” Goncharov added. “The conductivity of superionic ice would be able to accomplish this type of field generation and one of the two structures we revealed could exist under the conditions found in these magnetic field-generating zones.”

    Further study is needed to understand the conductive properties and viscosity of these ice phases under ice giant-interior conditions.

    __________________

    This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, the Deep Carbon Observatory, the Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, and the Carnegie Institution for Science. This work was performed at GeoSoilEnviroCARS, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Carnegie Institution of Washington Bldg

    Carnegie Institution for Science (US)

    Andrew Carnegie established a unique organization dedicated to scientific discovery “to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner investigation; research; and discovery and the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind…” The philosophy was and is to devote the institution’s resources to “exceptional” individuals so that they can explore the most intriguing scientific questions in an atmosphere of complete freedom. Carnegie and his trustees realized that flexibility and freedom were essential to the institution’s success and that tradition is the foundation of the institution today as it supports research in the Earth, space, and life sciences.

    The Carnegie Institution of Washington (US) (the organization’s legal name), known also for public purposes as the Carnegie Institution for Science (US) (CIS), is an organization in the United States established to fund and perform scientific research. The institution is headquartered in Washington, D.C. As of June 30, 2020, the Institution’s endowment was valued at $926.9 million. In 2018 the expenses for scientific programs and administration were $96.6 million.

    History

    When the United States joined World War II Vannevar Bush was president of the Carnegie Institution. Several months before on June 12, 1940 Bush had been instrumental in persuading President Franklin Roosevelt to create the National Defense Research Committee (later superseded by the Office of Scientific Research and Development) to mobilize and coordinate the nation’s scientific war effort. Bush housed the new agency in the Carnegie Institution’s administrative headquarters at 16th and P Streets, NW, in Washington, DC, converting its rotunda and auditorium into office cubicles. From this location Bush supervised, among many other projects the Manhattan Project. Carnegie scientists cooperated with the development of the proximity fuze and mass production of penicillin.

    Research

    Carnegie scientists continue to be involved with scientific discovery. Composed of six scientific departments on the East and West Coasts the Carnegie Institution for Science is involved presently with six main topics: Astronomy at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (Washington, D.C.) and the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (Pasadena, CA and Las Campanas, Chile); Earth and planetary science also at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and the Geophysical Laboratory (Washington, D.C.); Global Ecology at the Department of Global Ecology (Stanford, CA); Genetics and developmental biology at the Department of Embryology (Baltimore, MD); Matter at extreme states also at the Geophysical Laboratory; and Plant science at the Department of Plant Biology (Stanford, CA).

    Carnegie Institution 1-meter Swope telescope at Las Campanas, Chile, 100 kilometres (62 mi) northeast of the city of La Serena, near the north end of a 7 km (4.3 mi) long mountain ridge, Cerro Las Campanas, near the southern end and over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high, at Las Campanas, Chile.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:42 pm on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Nation’s first quantum accelerator-Duality-announces first corporate supporters",   

    From University of Chicago (US): “Nation’s first quantum accelerator-Duality-announces first corporate supporters” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago (US)

    Oct 13, 2021

    1
    Amazon Web Services will work to advance quantum innovation in Illinois; other supporters, including Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM LLP, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics, will provide funding and in-kind support.

    Duality, the nation’s first accelerator focused exclusively on supporting quantum science and technology companies, has announced that Amazon Web Services is among its first corporate supporters, along with Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM LLP, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics to support its inaugural cohort of six startups, and help fuel quantum innovation in Chicago and the region.

    Corporate supporters will provide a combination of financial support, mentorship, and other professional services and resources for Duality and its startups. The move comes at a time when nations around the world are racing to unlock the potential of quantum information science, and when researchers and corporations are looking for ways to collaborate more closely and narrow the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace.

    “The rapidly evolving field of quantum information science can benefit enormously from strategic partnerships which bring together complementary expertise,” said Paul Alivisatos, president of the University of Chicago and the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. “Today’s announcement enhances the support for Duality companies and further strengthens Chicago—and the state of Illinois—as a global center for quantum innovation.”

    “Quantum science and technology is a field that will transform multiple industries and launch entirely new ones,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “I’m proud that one of the ways we’re demonstrating our leadership as the nation’s quantum hub is with Duality—the first accelerator in the U.S. dedicated to supporting innovative quantum startups. With these six new collaborations, we’re bringing together some of Illinois’ best minds and resources to help solve the most challenging problems in modern history.”

    Duality, the first accelerator program in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to supporting the launch and growth of quantum companies, was launched in April 2021 by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Quantum Exchange, along with founding partners, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (US), DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US), and P33. Its first cohort of startups were selected from a competitive pool of applicants from all over the globe and vetted by an internal review process. Those startups include Axion Technologies, Great Lakes Crystal Technologies, qBraid, QuantCAD, Quantopticon, and Super.tech.

    As the global leader in cloud computing, Amazon Web Services will provide financial support for Duality and equip the Cohort 1 startups with tools and resources to help accelerate their innovation. Amazon Web Services has more than 200 fully featured services, including Amazon Braket, a quantum computing service that provides researchers and developers with access to multiple quantum processors integrated in the Amazon Web Services Cloud, the preferred cloud provider for Duality. Each startup will be eligible to participate in AWS Activate, a program designed to help startups grow their businesses with free tools and resources, including credits to help cover costs of using the company’s services, including Amazon Braket. Additionally, Amazon Web Services will provide each Duality startup with training and enablement on Amazon Web Services services and access to its top mentors with entrepreneurial experience.

    “By bringing together academic research and business expertise, Duality offers quantum startups a great path for growth,” said Simone Severini, director of quantum computing at Amazon Web Services. “We love startups at AWS, and the startups in Duality’s Cohort 1 show promise across a broad sector of the quantum landscape. We’re excited to be working closely with them as they develop their businesses and to help drive innovation for the quantum industry as a whole.”

    Another supporter of Duality is Caruso Ventures, which was launched by Dan Caruso, a serial entrepreneur who is also an investor in ColdQuanta, a Chicago Quantum Exchange corporate partner and a leader in Cold Atom Quantum Technology, and Maybell Quantum Industries. Headquartered in Boulder, CO, Caruso Ventures supports next-generation entrepreneurial leaders through private funding, direct investments, and philanthropy.

    “We are excited to partner with Duality as it looks to accelerate the pace of innovation in quantum,” said Caruso, who is also managing director of Caruso Ventures. “At Caruso Ventures, we are focused on seismic trends and believe quantum is one of these life-changing spaces that is set to disrupt all industries.”

    In addition to these industry-leading partnerships, four other companies have signed on as official in-kind sponsors for Duality’s Cohort 1. Legal service providers Lathrop GPM LLP and McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff will offer education and legal services related to intellectual property and legal contracts among other relevant matters. Silicon Valley Bank, a finance partner for the technology and innovation ecosystem will offer banking and advisory services. Finally, Toptica Photonics, a Chicago Quantum Exchange corporate partner developing and manufacturing high-end laser systems for scientific and industrial applications, including fundamental and applied quantum technologies, will offer equipment to each relevant team in addition to mentoring and education.

    “The financial sponsorship, market access, and business expertise provided by our corporate partners ensures that Duality has an accelerated impact on the success of the quantum startups and the broader ecosystem,” said Chuck Vallurupalli, senior director of Duality. “We are looking forward to working with a diverse group of corporate partners and further building upon these early success stories.”

    Together with its partners, each startup in Cohort 1 will receive access to world-class business and entrepreneurship training as well as dedicated mentorship from a growing roster of top quantum experts. Startups will have the opportunity to gain access to many of the region’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for advanced computing, nanofabrication, atomic scale measurement, quantum testbeds, and other premier resources at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Argonne National Laboratory.

    “Duality provides a wealth of resources and connections for our startup as we seek to develop quantum technology for the next generation of computing and cyber security,” said Carol Scarlett, founder of Axion Technologies. Scarlett is also a fellow in Argonne National Laboratory’s Chain Reaction Innovations program which embeds entrepreneurs in the Lab. “These opportunities are invaluable to the development of the quantum ecosystem needed to support and promote companies advancing new technologies.”

    Duality startups recently had the opportunity to present at the Chicago Venture Summit and will be featured at the upcoming Chicago Quantum Summit on Nov. 4.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    The University of Chicago (US) is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with University of Chicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    University of Chicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US), DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

    The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

    University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL)(US). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

    The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

    Research

    According to the National Science Foundation (US), University of Chicago spent $423.9 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 60th in the nation. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and is a founding member of the Association of American Universities (US) and was a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation from 1946 through June 29, 2016, when the group’s name was changed to the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The University of Chicago is not a member of the rebranded consortium, but will continue to be a collaborator.

    The university operates more than 140 research centers and institutes on campus. Among these are the Oriental Institute—a museum and research center for Near Eastern studies owned and operated by the university—and a number of National Resource Centers, including the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Chicago also operates or is affiliated with several research institutions apart from the university proper. The university manages Argonne National Laboratory, part of the United States Department of Energy’s national laboratory system, and co-manages DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), a nearby particle physics laboratory, as well as a stake in the Apache Point Observatory (US) in Sunspot, New Mexico.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Apache Point Observatory (US), near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Faculty and students at the adjacent Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago collaborate with the university. In 2013, the university formed an affiliation with the formerly independent Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Although formally unrelated, the National Opinion Research Center (US) is located on Chicago’s campus.

     
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