SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

Target of Opportunity Observation of an Episodic Storm on Uranus

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 10:58 am, PST
Target of Opportunity Observation of an Episodic Storm on Uranus

Methane Migration on a Uranus-class planet: symmetric or seasonal?

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 10:55 am, PST
Methane Migration on a Uranus-class planet

REU SITE: Life in the Universe - Astronomy and Planetary Science at the SETI Institute

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 9:25 am, PST
The SETI Institute (SI) proposes a renewed REU site with a focus on astronomy and planetaryscience, with a connecting theme of astrobiology. REU students will be partnered with scientists to conduct a broad range of research projects at facilities available onsite and nearby atthe NASA Ames Research Center.

Crater Relaxation and Stereo Imaging of the Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 9:20 am, PST
Understanding the evolution of Solar System diversity is a top-level question identified by the 2006 NASA Solar System Exploration Roadmap. The satellite systems of Jupiter and Saturn provide opportunities to compare the very different evolutions of satellites which likely had similar starting points. These satellite systems range from currently active (Io and Enceladus) to geologically dead (Callisto and Mimas). Different satellites have evidently experienced radically different thermal histories, but as yet few quantitative constraints on these histories have been published.

Biogenic Gases from Anoxygenic Photosynthesis in Microbial Mats

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 7:57 am, PST
This lab and field project will measure biogenic gas fluxes in engineered and natural microbial mats composed of anoxygenic phototrophs and anaerobic chemotrophs, such as may have existed on the early Earth prior to the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. The goal is to characterize the biogeochemical cycling of S, H, and C in an effort to constrain the sources and sinks of gaseous biosignatures that may be relevant to the detection of life in anoxic biospheres on habitable exoplanets.

An Investigation of the Feedbacks between Pluto's Atmosphere and Surface

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 7:47 am, PST
This proposal would directly investigate the global character of Pluto's atmosphere and its two-way feedbacks with N2 ice on the surface by combining a state-of-the-art three-dimensional atmospheric model with a detailed surface/subsurface thermal model.

Characterizing the Current Aeolian Transport Environment for Sediment in Greater Meridiani Planum

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 7:36 am, PST
The overall goals of the proposed Mars research are to identify locations, areas, seasons, and times-of-day within a 10x10 degree study area (greater Meridiani Planum) where/when sand-sized particle transport by the wind (aeolian saltation) has occurred (may have occurred, is probable) within the contemporary era, and to initially characterize the atmospheric and/or geologic forcing mechanism(s) that create such aeolian-effective conditions near the surface. In order to achieve these goals, the proposed work will utilize both the analysis of high-resolution orbital imagery (e.g., HiRISE, CTX, MOC-NA; including any available repeat imaging of relevant locations) and high-resolution atmospheric modeling output (mesoscale and microscale; seasonally- and diurnally-resolved 3-D winds and atmospheric state information). The proposed effort would significantly advance the detailed understanding of the dominant non-catastrophic contemporary surface erosion process on Mars.

DREAM II: Dynamic Response of Environments at Asteroids, the Moon, and Moons of Mars

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 7:22 am, PST
Dynamic Response of Environments at Asteroids, the Moon, and Moons of Mars

Comminution of Aeolian Materials on Mars

Tuesday, November 04 2014 - 7:14 am, PST
The project will attempt to demonstrate experimentally that aeolian action on Mars leads to the production of vast quantities of silt that have an anomalous mixture of extremely well-rounded grains and extremely angular material.

Planetary Science and Exploration Studies

Monday, November 03 2014 - 11:52 pm, PST
A 4-year multidisciplinary research program supporting NASA’s Strategic Plan and Science Plan goals and objectives is proposed. The guiding theme for the proposed Science investigations is Water in the Solar System; that for the proposed Exploration work is Steps to Humans on Mars.