SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

Orbital Evolution of Outer Solar System Satellites

Monday, November 03 2014 - 10:55 am, PST
This proposal focuses on the dynamics of satellites orbiting three outer solar system objects: Saturn, Pluto and the triple trans-Neptunian object (TNO) 1999 TC_36. The proposed work is divided into two main themes, one dealing with the dynamical evolution of the Saturnian satellite system, and the other concentrating on the dynamics of gravitationally bound fragments in TNO collisions.

Orbital Dynamics of Small Bodies in the Inner Solar System

Monday, November 03 2014 - 10:50 am, PST
This proposal aims to study the orbital evolution of three interesting groups of small bodies in the Inner Solar System: meteoroids originating in the Hungaria region, small binary asteroids, and Mars Trojans.

The Role of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Dense Cloud Absorption Features: The Last Major Unanswered Question in Interstellar Ice Spectroscopy

Friday, October 31 2014 - 4:48 pm, PDT
Interstellar dust plays a vital role in the star formation process and the eventual formation of planetary systems including our own. Ice mantles are an important component of the dust: reactions involving simple ices can create more complex (and astrobiologically interesting) molecules, and ices sublimated back into the gas phase influence the gas-phase chemistry.

Science Processing Support for the TESS Mission

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:53 pm, PDT
In April 2013, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was selected for flight in August 2017 by NASA’s Explorer Program to discover the 1,000 exoplanets best suited for follow-up and characterization with existing, impending, and future facilities and projects such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Science Analysis Support for NASA Discovery Program's Kepler Extended Mission

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:48 pm, PDT
The Kepler Mission seeks to determine the prevalence of Earth-size and larger planets orbiting solar-like stars in the solar neighborhood, and to characterize the stellar properties favoring the development of planetary systems.

Exploring Planetary Habitability and Life

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:39 pm, PDT
Our overarching goal is to continue to foster a new vision of planetary exploration for NASA by developing new science exploration strategies and tools that will increase the science return of future missions, and support the science of ongoing and upcoming missions.

Exploration of Planets Past, Present, and Future Habitability

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:35 pm, PDT
With this task, we pursue our research in sedimentology related to the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission (mission data and terrestrial analogs), which has now entered its third extended mission and the interpretation of orbital imagery focusing on the basin deposits of the martian highlands. Our objective is to characterize and map potential life habitats from the ground and orbit.

Spin States of Near-Earth Asteroids From Radar Speckle Tracking

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:31 pm, PDT
We have developed a new technique, radar speckle tracking, using the Arecibo and Goldstone radars and elements of the Very Long Baseline Array and the Jansky Very Large Array to rapidly and uniquely determine asteroid pole directions and spin rates. We propose to make speckle tracking a routine part of the current NEA radar observing campaign, to measure the spin states, including the pole directions, of roughly 20 more NEAs over a two-year period.

Mapping Summertime Evolution of Ice in the North and South Poles with CRISM

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:26 pm, PDT
We propose to use data from the CRISM visible/near infrared (VNIR) mapping spectrometer to examine the spectral changes that take place in the north and south polar caps during summer. It is well known that the residual cap in the north is composed of water ice and in the south is composed of CO2 ice, but changes within the warm season are not yet understood. This proposal will augment recent work on CRISM observations of the springtime evolution and retreat of the seasonal cap of both hemispheres: (Brown et al. 2009 for south and Brown et al 2012 for north).

Experiments to investigate Coherent Backscatter from atmosphereless bodies

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:17 pm, PDT
We propose to conduct a set of controlled laboratory experiments to investigate the nature of coherent backscattering from high albedo, atmosphereless solar system bodies.