SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

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.

Polar water ice clouds and dust aerosols seasonal mapping using CRISM EPF data

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:09 pm, PDT
We propose to use Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) emission phase function (EPF) measurements in the Martian poles (regions poleward of 55° latitude) to map dust and water ice aerosols and surface albedos as a function of season using CRISM data.

Characterization of Martian Surface Mineralogy and Habitability

Friday, October 31 2014 - 12:04 pm, PDT
Characterization of the Martian surface via orbit and landed investigations is proposed here. We will be analyzing data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that is currently in orbit at Mars. We are also performing lab analyses that provide ground truthing for the MRO-CRISM data.

Low temperature characterization of hydrohalite and related salts essential to life in the Atacama

Friday, October 31 2014 - 11:58 am, PDT
We propose to extend an existing project funded by the Astrobiology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology program to study cyanobacteria inside Atacama halite pinnacles that will enable characterization of these potential habitats on other planetary bodies.

Investigating the Origin of Layered Outcrops in the Mawrth Vallis Region

Friday, October 31 2014 - 11:46 am, PDT
The Mawrth Vallis region contains one of the largest outcrops of layered material, largely dominated by phyllosilicate-bearing rocks and adorned by discordant layering and unusual textures. The goal of this project is to determine the origins of these layered outcrops and test whether sedimentary processes may have contributed to their formation.