KECK INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES

       

Astrophysics

Astrophysics Astrophysics

Programs


The Architecture of LISA Science Analysis: Imagining the Future

The space-based gravitational-wave observatory LISA will offer unparalleled science returns, including a view of massive black-hole mergers to high redshifts, precision tests of general relativity and black-hole structure, a census of thousands of compact binaries in the Galaxy, and the possibility of detecting stochastic signals from the early Universe. The broad objective of this study program is to imagine how evolved or rethought data-analysis algorithms and source-modeling codes will solve the LISA science analysis on the computers of the future.
 



Designing Future CMB Experiments

This study will address the design and concept of future Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments and in particular a future CMB satellite to extract cosmological information from the polarized CMB photons. The research will aim at deriving forecasts of the optimal (instrumental and observational) parameters of future CMB experiments, considering technical and hardware aspects along with theoretical modeling, astrophysics and statistics.
 



Exoplanet Imaging and Characterization: Coherent Differential Imaging and Signal Detection Statistics

This workshop seeks to address several questions related to the development of statistically grounded strategies for detecting faint signals in the presence of both coherent and incoherent backgrounds.
 



Optical Communication on SmallSats – Enabling the Next Era in Space Science

This study will bring together space scientists, technologists, and mission designers across two workshops to understand the current limitations faced by SmallSat science missions stemming from the communication bottleneck, and together craft novel technical approaches for optical data transfer that significantly enhances the quality and volume of data returned by these missions.
 



Optical Frequency Combs for Space Applications

The goal of this program is to formulate space applications and mission concepts enabled by optical frequency comb technology and to identify high priority technology challenges and gaps that need to be addressed to implement these missions.
 



Bridging the Gap: Observations and Theory of Star Formation Meet on Large and Small Scales

The purpose of this study program is to generate new ideas for new observations that can be used to constrain models and develop requirements for future instruments and space missions.
 



Science and Enabling Technologies to Explore the Interstellar Medium

The technical challenge and the focus of the study is to assess mission implementation techniques that will enable affordable robotic probes to reach the ISM within 10 years.
 



Airships: A New Horizon for Science

The goal of this study is to identify science observational/experimental projects that are uniquely addressed by airship vehicles, and determine which of these science goals could be simultaneously accommodated in one platform.
 



Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

This study will assess the current state of knowledge about planetary magnetic fields, track the progress of the new ground-based instruments and develop observing strategies from existing optical/UV telescopes.
 



Digging Deeper: Algorithms for Computationally-Limited Searches in Astronomy

Our technical goal is to develop a few realistic, benchmark problems on which the methods can be compared, keeping in mind computational resources and available architectures.
 



Next Generation UV Instrument Technologies Enabling Missions in Astrophysics, Cosmology and Planetary Sciences

The goal of this study is to create a new paradigm in UV/Optical instrument design, detector technology, and optics to form the foundation for the next generation of UV/Optical missions.
 



The First Billion Years

This study is structured around the principal theme of diffuse spectral radio/mm/sub-mm observations that target atomic and molecular lines as tracers of matter in the pre- and inter-galactic medium and early structures.
 



Single Photon Counting Detectors

This study was designed to significantly advance the capability to build single photon counting array detectors at submillimeter to ultraviolet wavelengths for astronomy, including optical single photon detectors for communications.
 



Innovative Approaches to Exoplanet Spectra

This program aims to take a fresh look at exoplanet characterization science from the point of view of new instruments that could do breakthrough science or that could pave the way for the next generation of space missions.
 



Coherent Arrays for Astronomy and Remote Sensing

The objective of this program is to explore the science that would be enabled by large MMIC arrays for cosmology, astrophysics, planetary science, atmospheric science, and remote sensing of the Earth.
 



Large Space Structures

The aim of this program is to analyze the state of the art in optical and RF apertures and to make a lasting impact on the field of large space apertures.
 



Shedding Light on the Nature of Dark Matter

The goals of this mini-program are to bring together diverse theoretical and observational perspectives on dark matter particle candidates and their properties, astrophysical expressions, and the observations today and in the future that may solve the problem of the nature of dark matter.
 



Innovative Concepts in IR/Submm Astronomy from Space

This study is a forum to explore new concepts that enable major scientific advances at modest cost in the far-IR / submm spectral range.
 


Lectures

Heliophysics and the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

June 28, 2017
Speaker: Prof. Jay Pasachoff - Williams College, Williamstown, MA. Visitor, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS), Caltech

An Interstellar Conversation

September 9, 2014
Moderator: Dr. Leon Alkalai - Ast. Div. Mgr, Systems Engineering & Formulation Division, JPL

Science in Cyberspace

December 13, 2011
Speaker: Professor S. George Djorgovski

Many Suns, Many Worlds: The Galactic Quest for Exoplanets

October 4, 2010
Speakers: Professor Eric Ford, University of Florida; Professor Jason Wright, Pennsylvania State University; Professor Natalie Batalha, San Jose State university; Dr. Mark Swain, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Seismology of the Sun and Stars

March 17, 2010
Speaker: Professor Laurent Gizon - Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung


Single Photon Detectors - from A to B (from Astronomy to Biology, and Beyond)

January 26, 2010
Speaker: Professor Daniel Prober, Yale University


The Darkest Galaxies

July 22, 2009
Speaker: Marla Geha, Yale

Symposia

Dark Matter in Southern California (DaMaSC) SERIES: