NSF FY 1999 Budget Request: Major Research Equipment and US Polar Programs The National Science Foundation prepares a detailed budget request every year describing various programs. This, previous, and a following FYI provide information from this document for areas that are part of FYI's coverage. Two budgets are summarized below -- Major Research Equipment and U.S. Polar Programs:
MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT:
NSF supports "funding for the construction of major research facilities that provide unique capabilities at the cutting edge of science and engineering" through this account. The FY 1999 budget request is $94.00 million, a decline of 13.8% or $15.00 million, from this year's budget of $109.00 million. Most of these facilities are of direct interest to the physics community:
South Pole Station/Aircraft Upgrades. The budget document states: "In FY 1998, $70.0 million was appropriated to begin the South Pole Station Modernization project. The FY 1999 Budget Request includes $22.0 million for the next phase of the project. Priorities in implementing the modernization project include increasing safety, minimizing environmental impacts and disruption of ongoing science, and optimizing the use of existing facilities during the modernization." NSF states that South Pole Station Modernization will begin this year and is scheduled to be completed by FY 2005, at a total cost of $127.9 million, including some contingency funding. NSF also requests, in a different budget item, $20.0 million for polar support aircraft upgrades.
Millimeter Array. The budget document states: "The FY 1999 Budget Request for MMA is $9.0 million for the second year of the Design and Development Phase. The total funding of the three-year Design and Development Phase of the MMA project is $26.0 million. Total costs for the MMA project are estimated to be approximately $220 million. International or other agency participation at the 25-50% level is being actively sought for the project. Funding for the 5-year capital construction phase will be requested only after appropriate approvals by the National Science Board. Following the Design and Development phase, NSF will decide whether to proceed to the second phase, a five-year Capital Construction Phase. This two-step process will enable NSF to evaluate the project before undertaking major expenditures."
Large Hadron Collider. The budget document states: "The FY 1999 Budget Request for construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors, A Toroidal Large Angle Spectrometer (ATLAS) and Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), is $22.0 million. Total NSF funding for this project is $81.0 million over the period FY 1999-2003. Oversight of this project will be provided through the Physics Subactivity within the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Activity. Funding for the overall LHC project, including both the detectors and the accelerator, will be provided through an international partnership involving NSF, Department of Energy (DOE), and the CERN member states, with CERN member states providing the major portion. The total U.S. contribution will be $531.0 million, $450.0 [million] through the DOE. NSF and DOE will jointly provide a total of $331 million for the detector construction, while DOE will provide sole U.S. support ($200 million) for the accelerator construction." "Construction funding for the ATLAS and CMS detectors is scheduled to be completed in FY 2003. The overall LHC construction, including both the accelerator and the ATLAS and CMS detectors, is scheduled for completion in FY 2005."
Polar Cap Observatories. The budget document states: "The Polar Cap Observatory (PCO) will be a multi-instrumented, ground-based observatory located within the Earth's northern polar cap. As directed by the Committees on Appropriation of the House and Senate, NSF has provided an analysis of alternative sites for location of the observatory and a report on the scientific justification for the project. The best location for the observatory is at Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories, Canada. In FY 1998, NSF is expecting to provide up to $5.0 million for generic design and engineering activities associated with the PCO through the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account [pending congressional approval]. The FY 1999 Budget Request for the construction of the PCO is $21 million. This request will permit complete construction of the facility when combined with up to $5.0 million in FY 1998 through the R&RA account." The PCO is to be fully operational by 2001, with operating expenses to be paid through the R&RA account.
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). NSF is not requesting money for FY 1999 for LIGO through this account. The budget document states: "FY 1998 funding of $26.0 million completed the construction-funding phase of the project for a total cost of $271.9 million." "Support for LIGO operations began in FY 1997 and is provided through the Physics Subactivity of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activity. The total operating funding for LIGO in FY 1999 is $19.8 million. Support for advanced detector R&D is also provided through the Physics Subactivity." "The project is on schedule and on budget, with first scientific observations planned for FY 2001."
Gemini Telescopes. NSF is not requesting money for FY 1999 for the Gemini Telescopes through this account. The budget document states: "The FY 1998 Appropriation included $4.0 million for technological enhancements and contingency funding. The total NSF contribution to this construction project is $92.00 million, all of it appropriated in previous years. This represents a 50% share of the total project cost." First Light is expected in FY 2000.
U.S. POLAR PROGRAMS
"The FY 1999 Budget Request for U.S. Polar Programs is $244.96 million, an increase of $16.43 million, or 7.2 percent, over the FY 1999 Current Plan of $228.53 million."
This budget request has two major components:
"The FY 1999 Budget Request for U.S. Polar Research Programs Activity is $182.36 million, an increase of $16.43 million, or 9.9 percent over the FY 1998 Current Plan of $165.93 million." "The U.S. Polar Research Programs Activity supports both Arctic and Antarctic research. Arctic support represents part of a larger NSF and federal effort. Antarctic support represents the role of NSF as manager of the entire federal Antarctic program, including special requirements for operations and science support."
"The FY 1999 Budget Request for U.S. Antarctic Logistical Support Activities is $62.60 million, the same as FY 1998." "U.S. Antarctic Logistical Support is provided by Department of Defense components."