Computational Physics, Inc. periodically publishes press releases, general company articles, and announcements of contract awards that would be of interest to the general public. Our volunteer efforts to support STEM education in our surrounding communities can also be found on our Educational Outreach section of the web site.
The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission has been selected by NASA to be the next Heliophysics Explorer mission of opportunity. GOLD is a high-resolution far-ultraviolet (FUV) imaging spectrograph that will provide global-scale imaging of the Earth's disk and limb at high temporal cadence from geostationary orbit (GEO). From this vantage point GOLD will provide unprecedented measurements of the temperature and composition of the Earth's upper atmosphere (thermosphere and ionosphere). This will allow scientists to study the real-time response to geomagnetic storms and solar variability, a key link in understanding the atmospheric effects of space weather.
In addition, the GOLD mission breaks new ground by flying a NASA-funded science instrument onboard a commercial communications satellite, thus providing a critical first implementation of NASA's focus on cost-effective access to instruments in GEO. For more information on the GOLD mission see the NASA award announcement and the GOLD mission home page.
CPI plays a key role in several aspects of the GOLD mission. CPI scientists Dr. Doug Strickland and Dr. Jerry Lumpe are Co-Investigators and members of the GOLD Science Team. Dr. Lumpe also fills the role of GOLD Algorithms Manager. CPI scientists and software developers will direct the algorithm development, integration, and testing for the GOLD Science Data Center at the University of Central Florida. In that capacity CPI has primary responsibility for the production, validation, documentation, and quality assurance of all GOLD Science Data Products. This work capitalizes on CPI's extensive experience in algorithm development, data processing, and calibration/validation (cal/val) for previous satellite missions such as TIMED/GUVI, DMSP/SSUSI, POAM II/III, NPP/OMPS, UARS/SUSIM, SORCE/SOLSTICE, and others.
CPI has received another follow-on 6-month contract with the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) to continue its support of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) project. This reflects the strong importance of the VLBI project to USNO and their regard for the quality of work that CPI provides in support of this project.
CPI was awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract with the Space Science Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to provide research and support in Upper Air Physics, Astronomy, and Remote Geo-Sensing. The contract work will address a wide range of topics that include: the remote sensing of atmospheric constituents; terrestrial, solar, and planetary atmosphere process studies; atmospheric backgrounds phenomenology; space-based sensor calibration/validation; and, radio signal analysis. The contract is for one (1) base year and four (4) option years with a total award amount of $3.7 million if all options are exercised (see FBO). This contract represents a continuation of more than 25 years of research support that CPI has provided to the Space Sciences Division, and is a testament to the outstanding quality of work that CPI staff have done, and continue to perform, for NRL.
We are pleased to announce a new $255,000, 13-month contract with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado to provide support for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. MAVEN, which is set to launch in 2013, will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatile compounds, such as CO2, N2, and H2O, from the Mars atmosphere to space has played over time, giving insight into the history of Mars atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability. In support of the MAVEN mission to Mars, CPI is developing a neutral composition retrieval capability for daytime conditions in the Martian atmosphere. Work being performed by CPI includes: forward model enhancements to AURIC, retrieval capability enhancements to the optimal estimation code (OPT), sensor model development, model validation, and simulations.
CPI has received a follow-on 6-month contract with the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) to continue its support of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) project. USNO employs VLBI to measure the arrival of radio waves at separate antennas in order to determine the reference frames for stars and the Earth, and to predict the variable orientation of the Earth in three-dimensional space. USNO provides VLBI-based data products and is currently improving the software it implemented to replace the hardware-based system currently used for its processing of the VLBI data. CPI is taking on the challenge of automating the data processing to increase the processing efficiency, as well as designing and developing a graphical user interface (GUI) to provide easier monitoring and control of the software application that correlates data from an array of radio telescopes (a correlator) and associated data playback units.