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NASA Committee for Planetary Science with Astrophysics Assets NB: New Meeting Time, 1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month at 1-2pm (See Below)

Committee Members:

  • James (Gerbs) Bauer (Co-Chair; UMD) -
  • Stefanie Milam (Co-Chair; GSFC) -
  • Cristina Thomas (NAU) -
  • Gordon Bjoraker (GSFC) -
  • Leigh Fletcher (University of Leicester) -
  • Carrie Nugent (Olin College) -
  • Walt Harris (University of Arizona) -
  • Andy Rivkin (APL, JHU) -
  • Scott Wolk (CfA, Harvard) -
  • Paul Hartogh(MPI - SSRG) -
  • Sean Carey (IPAC) -
  • Amanda Hendrix (PSI) -
  • Doris Daou (NASA HQ) -
  • Christine Hartzell (UMD) -
  • Geronimo Villanueva (GSFC) -



to compile a uniform set of basic capabilities and needs to maximize the yield of Solar System science with future Astrophysics assets while allowing those assets to achieve their Astrophysics priorities.


PSAA Notional Timeline, 2018 dates:

  • Mid April – object discipline preliminary reports
  • Mid May – technical capability reports
  • Mid June – start drafting white paper
  • September -- Full Draft of White paper
  • December – submit white paper draft (in time for winter SBAG meeting)

Public Presentations and Announcements

Small Bodies Assessment Group (Tucson, Jan 16, 2018)

Public meeting presentations: PSAA - Public_Presentations

COSPAR 2018 presentation: File:PSAA COSPAR poster.ppt

Relevant Documents

PSAA Meetings

Regular Meetings are to be held the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 1-2pm (changed from 1st and 3rd Tuesdays starting on May 21).

PSAA telecon - dial-in info:

The 1st Monday of every month, from Monday, July 1, 2018, to no end date 12:55 pm | Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00) | 1 hr 10 mins
Meeting number (access code): 736 511 277 Meeting password: planets

meeting webex ...

The 3rd Monday of every month, from Monday, June 18, 2018, to no end date 12:55 pm | Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) | 1 hr 10 mins
Meeting number (access code): 735 053 590 Meeting password: planets

meeting webex...

NEXT MEETING - Monday, August 6, 2018

Meeting number... +1-415-655-0002 US Toll, (access code): 736 771 985
meeting webex...

8th regular meeting - Monday, July 16, 2018 NB: NEW TIME

Meeting number (access code): 735 053 590 Meeting password: planets ' meeting webex...
Draft Agenda Items:

  • News/Updates
  • PAC
  • New Document for Editing
  • Survey
  • COSPAR and conferences

Notes: MPC improvements may have positive impact on AA serendipitous discoveries. JWST launch in 2021 may impact other future AA missions. WFIRST non-sidereal tracking is not presently a capability of that platform, owing to removal of IFC for budget considerations, but a (theoretical) delay in WFIRST schedule could open opportunities for IFC's return. Decadal Review Papers will likely be due in Jan (2019). Recent PAC meeting included discussion on Planetary Science Observatory... consensus that a technical consideration of this should be added to the PSAA white paper. Desire for PAC presentation on progress from the PSAA, and suggestion that the white paper draft be ready by the time of the Autumn face-to-face meeting [in Nov or Oct]. Reminder that PAC meetings are open and next meeting details will be posted on this wiki. Survey announced in DPS and PEN newsletter... Stefanie Milam will provide updates. Gerbs Bauer will provide an up dated schedule for next meeting.

Attendees: Daou, Villanueva, Hartzell, Nugent, Wolk, Milam, Hendrix, Thomas

7th regular meeting - Monday, June 18, 2018 NB: NEW TIME

The 3rd Monday of every month, from Monday, June 18, 2018, to no end date 12:55 pm | Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) | 1 hr 10 mins Meeting number (access code): 735 053 590 Meeting password: planets meeting webex...

Draft Agenda Items:

  • News/Updates
  • Updates
  • New Document for Editing
  • Survey
  • Schedule Updates


White Paper (google docs)

6th regular meeting - Monday, May 21, 2018 NB: NEW TIME

Minutes - Updates: No non-sidereal tracking for WFIRST, and no IFC. Jim Green moving to Chief Scientist position. DD briefed incoming interim PSD, who was positive about the PSAA. SM and DD - should not be reserve about adding to the membership and outsourcing tasks to the community Reports: topic groups seem to be just starting to get together to discuss things. Nonsidereal tracking group (CT and CH) discussed different elements that went into tracking limitations. SST was limited by software, for example, and could not track differentially. C. Nugent asked for a candidate for a co-lead (we have since requested S Wolk's help). Spectroscopy lead (Gordy B.) is starting to get the spectral group together. TODO for PSAA chairs: examples of white papers (SW suggested) and a Googledoc for editing the PSAA white paper draft.

5th regular meeting - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

meeting webex ...

Draft Agenda Items:

  • News/Updates
  • Overview of Science and Technical Category Expectations
  • Reports from S/T Category team leads
  • Review of Schedule/Schedule changes

Minutes: [Numerous conflicts... Milam, Bauer, Hartzell, and Nugent present]

  • Bauer and Milam called telecon to order
  • Milam gave update on status of WFIRST and JWST, and Decadel review activities.
  • Bauer presented some suggestions on what to topical groups were to focus on
  • Lead Updates: Hartzell and Thomas would meet after the telecon to discuss consideration for Non-sidereal tracking. Nugent would co-lead the Broad-band imaging technical category.
  • Survey/Questionnaire draft: Milam will draft and iterate with Bauer on a survey for input by the community. After, they will circulate to the PSAA.
  • Timeline considerations: End of the summer, we should have a draft ready for decadal review. There seem to be a number of conflicts, so Milam will send out a doodle pole for a new telecon time.
  • Welcome Geronimo Villanueva to the committee... our newest addition!

4th regular meeting - Tuesday, April 17, 2018

meeting webex...


  • Updates on AAs and other news.
  • Technical Topic Leads and remaining Planetary Science Topic Leads ... volunteer or be volunteered.
  • Reports from science leads.
  • Review of upcoming presentations/meetings.

Bauer Hendrix Thomas Bjoraker Hartogh Hartzell

were present

We assigned Carrie Nugget to lead the broadband imaging technical category. Hendrix (small bodies), Thomas (non-sidereal rates), and Bjoraker (spectroscopy) gave brief reports... people are starting to contact their category groups, but not much progress yet.

Hendrix requested a clearer outline of what the science and technical leads should be developing. Bauer promised a presentation about what we may want to investigate, an itemized list, to start out with.

Thomas and Hartzell will work on reviewing the engineering considerations related to non-sidereal tracking considerations.

Bauer discussed upcoming conferences where PSAA will present progress, including COSPAR. Also, he mentioned that once we have a rough idea of the science/technical category group may produce, hopefully by June, we will ask for broad community input, via a survey, which Daou had offered to help with.

3rd regular meeting - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

meeting webex ...

Attendees: Milam, Nugent, Wolk, Hendrix, Rivkin, Hartogh, Thomas, Harris


  • News/Updates
    • LPSC - no one on call to report.
    • WFIRST - back in budget at $150M --> Class A mission. SW noted that we should consider for missions with small/no GO program, what a large program for the Solar System may look like.
    • JWST launch delay
    • Large Missions - impact from JWST? Consider instead of full scale large missions (e.g. LUVOIR, OST, etc) more of capability vs science. We may be in a realm where we are dealing with smaller missions in the future. Consider detector/mode/capabilities - break apart the large mission concepts.
  • New Members - Amanda Hendrix
  • Leads for topics of study: Volunteers or Volunteered. Please look and see where you have been volunteered. We are missing some expertise in terrestrial planets. Also, someone should be appointed the imaging lead. Finally, SW will provide some feedback on x-ray interactions/science with each topic.
  • Aim for next meeting (April 17) for Science leads to organize their groups and come up with key science objectives to cover and determine where expertise is needed from the community. The technical groups are also encouraged to start organizing. Members of PSAA should determine where they can contribute in the technical capabilities groups.

Object/Science Categories:

Small Bodies (lead): Hendrix

- MBAs - Rivkin

- Comets - Milam

- NEAs - Nugent

- KBOs/Centaurs - Bauer

- Hyperbolic Objects - Thomas

Giant Planets (lead): Fletcher

- Atmospheres - Bjorker

- Satellites/Rings - Hendrix

- Interiors - ?

Terrestrial Planets (lead): Harris

- Surfaces - ?

- Hydration - ?

- Satellites - ?

- Atmospheres - ?

Technical Categories:

Non-Sidereal Tracking (lead): Thomas

- Range of Objects - Milam, Bauer

- Size of SC

Broad-Band Imaging (lead): ?

- Band passes

- Spatial Resolution

- Read-out times

- Dynamic range

- Detector type

Spectroscopy (lead): Bjorker

- Wavelength resolution


- Wavelength range

MOS/GDS/Scheduling (lead): Carey/Milam/Bauer

- TOO for Solar system and penalties

- Single-Frame data/sampling

- Station keeping for Astrometry

2nd regular meeting - Tuesday, March 6, 2018


  • News/Updates
  • Future Meetings
  • Topic Categories of Study
  • Leads – Volunteers?

Upcoming meetings:
  • AOGs
    • Honolulu, HI, June 3-8
    • A number of telescopes are presenting here: WFIRST, OST, JWST
    • Pasadena, CA July 14-22
  • IAU
    • Vienna, Austria, August 20-31
    • PSAA update

DD will be at AOGS and possibly IAU. SM and GB at AOGS, GB at COSPAR and IAU. Opportunities to meet with PSD leadership at AOGS and COSPAR.

Object/Science Categories:
  • Small Bodies
    • MBAs
    • Comets
    • NEAs
    • KBOs/Centaurs
    • Hyperbolic Objects
  • Giant Planets
    • Atmospheres
    • Satellites
    • Interiors
  • Terrestrial Planets
    • Surfaces
    • Hydration
    • Satellites
    • Atmospheres

Technical Categories:
  • Non-Sidereal Tracking
    • Range of Objects
    • Size of SC
  • Broad-Band Imaging
    • Band passes
    • Spatial Resolution
    • Read-out times
    • Dynamic range
    • Detector type
  • Spectroscopy
    • Wavelength resolution
    • IFS
    • Wavelength range
  • MOS/GDS/Scheduling
    • TOO for Solar system and penalties
    • Single-Frame data/sampling
    • Station keeping for Astrometry

Comments: AR - Somewhere moving object pipelines should be discussed. GB- intended for MOS/GDS/Scheduling category.
DD- perhaps a survey should be held to make sure all the topics are covered that need be... this is a good start, but needs input from community. Offered to set it up. GB - would probably want to develop things a little before executing the survey... maybe around early Summer? CT/CN/AR various - should get an idea of the questions to ask in the survey.

Overall categories OK to start... the major categories won't disappear, but may be added to. GB- Asked for volunteers to lead the major categories... email GB and SM to volunteer... or people may be volunteered next time.
NB: Major categories are what are considered here ... [sic]:

  • Major
    • minor/sub-categories (exemplary, not comprehensive)

Three science and four technical major categories.

1st regular meeting - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Topic: Logistics

  • meeting times
  • website and email lists
  • suggestions for new membership
  • News/Updates
  • Next: Defining tasks and possible leads

Summary: Co-Chair S. Milam gave an overview of recent news regarding astrophysical assets, including an update on WFIRST. Its status in the recent proposed budget plan was noted, as was its upcoming SRR in April.
A rough notional timeline was introduced (see above), and A. Rivkin and C. Hartzel noted that the white paper draft notional deadline will be in time for the winter Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) meeting.
NASA HQ rep. D. Daou noted that when ready, it would also be good to address the Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC) and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (AAC).
A rough sketch of the structure of future focus areas of study was started. The idea would be to break things up into science disciplines and technical components. Some examples...

Sample Science Disciplines:

  • Small Bodies
  • Giant Planets
  • Satellites
  • Terrestrial Planets (W. Harris noted that some notional space telescopes are planning on being able to view elongations capable of reaching Venus)

Sample Technical Components:

  • Non-sidereal Tracking
  • Brand-band imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Scheduling

Kick-off Meeting Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:00 am | Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00) | 1 hr
Meeting number (access code): 737 050 224
Meeting password: astroph
Topic: Some review and context for the PSAA, concentrating on logistics.

  • Introductions, and brief overview/history of PSAA
  • Some Past Examples of AA missions that yielded big planetary science
  • Near and Far term, and future missions
  • NASA HQ Program Scientist
  • Future meeting times and Cadence, next meeting: schedules and topical considerations (various).
  • Conclusions

Meeting presentations
Future Missions

Notes (most comments were in context of the Overview and Future mission presentations above):

  • For the "Actions" of the committee, we should also present to AAS and DPS, as well as submit the white paper to BOTH The Astrophysics and Planetary Decadal Committees.
  • We should consider astrophysics assets, not Only space assets; IRTF, SOFIA, LSST, etc.
  • Expand membership to include expertise
    • DD(NHQ) suggested possibly an open call, but in any case a means of soliciting input from the community, possibly through a Google Doc/form or some email, and can provide help.
    • SNM(Co-Chair) suggested need to keep membership manageable, but emphasized the need for a method of input, Google Doc good idea.
    • DD (NHQ) noted the balance was weighted towards small bodies, SNM noted that the Giant Planet scientists were not attending today.
    • AR(APL-JHU) suggested reaching out to other communities, including Japan mission input, to expand the committee to include a few more intl. scientists.
    • GB(Co-Chair) suggested a committee size of over 20 gets unwieldy. Bi-weekly Cadence for meetings, to prepare in time for input to Decadal committees.
  • Action Items:
    • All - expect an email in the next week to establish account for wiki edit permissions... update contact and affiliation information. Also, think of a few key members (will need to down-select to 3-5 additions).
    • Co-Chairs - Come up with some options for soliciting input. Draft Schedule and Milestones. Set up Doodle poll for regular meeting times.