17 May 2021
Dear members of the astrophysics community,
The Astrophysics Division (APD) and its three thematic Program Offices (POs) – Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS), Cosmic Origins (COR), and Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) – are planning to respond to the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report (Astro2020) planned for release later this year and would like your input.
Following the release of Astro2020, APD will develop a new Astrophysics Implementation Plan (AIP) that responds to the survey’s priorities for the coming decade. Informed by this response plan and Astro2020 itself, the POs will update the Astrophysics strategic technology gap priorities.
In 2019, the POs implemented a joint biennial strategic technology gap prioritization process to inform APD’s technology development investments. An integral component of that process is engagement of the community to help identify key technology needs and gaps between the current state-of-the-art for those technologies and the performance levels that will be required to implement strategic Astrophysics missions and technology development activities.
This announcement is released to officially call for community input to APD’s initial technology gap prioritization process for Astro2020. Specifically, APD invites community input regarding the most important areas for technology development needed to support the priorities of Astro2020, with particular interest in new/different technologies and priorities relative to the current (pre-Astro2020) gap list (https://apd440.gsfc.nasa.gov/tech_gap_priorities.html). Interested community members who would like to provide input can do so by completing the gap submission form at https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/internal_resources/1185 and emailing it to either Thai Pham (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brendan Crill (email@example.com) by three weeks after the Astro2020 release date. If you have questions, please email those to Thai or Brendan, leaving enough time for a response and your submission before the above deadline.
After the response period, the POs’ science and technology teams will collate the input and update the contents and prioritization of the technology gaps according to the four criteria shown on our technology website (https://apd440.gsfc.nasa.gov/technology.html). As has been the case in the past, the revised joint gap list will inform possible amendments to the Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) solicitation. The updated Technology Gap List, along with a description of APD’s technology needs and priorities, will be published in the 2021 Astrophysics Biennial Technology Report (ABTR), planned to be released in October 2021.
Please refer to our technology websites for more information about the current (2019) APD technology gaps (https://apd440.gsfc.nasa.gov/tech_gap_priorities.html or https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/technology/gap-lists/). In addition to new gaps suggested by the community through the above process, all gaps in the current list will be considered in the 2021 prioritization process. Accordingly, suggestions for edits to current gaps are also encouraged and welcome.
This is your opportunity to take an active role in shaping the future of space technology for astrophysics and helping us align it to the recommendations of Astro2020. We look forward to working with the community to implement the exciting vision for the future that will be provided by Astro2020.
APD Program Office Technologists
Brendan Crill, Opher Ganel, Thai Pham, and Nick Siegler
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