Press Release

AIP FYI #98: Appropriations Report Language on NSF: Major Research Equipmentlated Activities

By SpaceRef Editor
July 27, 2001
Filed under ,

As noted in FYI #97, the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees have released their reports accompanying the FY 2002
VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bills. Below
is the full report language pertaining to Major Research
Equipment, excerpted from House Report 107-159 and Senate
Report 107-43. Readers wishing to view the entire text of both
reports may do so at www.thomas.loc.gov See FYI #97 for
additional discussion of major research equipment in the
reports’ sections on Research and Related Activities. House
and Senate appropriators will meet to decide on final language
before a final vote is taken on this legislation in both
chambers.

HOUSE REPORT:

“The Committee recommends a total of $135,300,000 for the major
research construction and equipment account for fiscal year
2002. This appropriation reflects the budget request levels of
$16,900,000 for the Large Hadron Collider, and $24,400,000 for
the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

“In addition, the Committee has provided $35,000,000 for
Terrascale Computing Systems, $35,000,000 for continued
development of the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne
Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER), $15,000,000 for
initiation of the IceCube Neutrino Detector project, and
$9,000,000 to maintain ongoing development activities for the
Atacama Large Millimeter Array.

“With regard to HIAPER, the Committee’s recommendation is
expected to provide for the purchase of the appropriate
airframe as well as preliminary planning, development and/or
acquisition of necessary modifications of the airframe for
research purposes, instrumentation, data systems, and
engineering activities.

“The Committee has also included $15,000,000 to initiate the
IceCube Neutrino Detector physics/astronomy project recently
approved by the National Science Board. This project, building
on the successful AMANDA demonstration, is designed to more
fully develop knowledge of the origins of the universe as well
as the fundamental nature of physical matter using its unique
polar telescope. This device will allow scientists to measure,
quantify and analyze neutrino particles and their role in these
basic questions of science. The amount provided for fiscal 2002
will support development and acquisition of new generation
technology, including new polar drilling equipment, and other
steps necessary to begin construction of IceCube as soon as
possible.

“The Committee recognizes that the statutory language utilized
to make appropriations for both the Research and Related
Activities account and the Major Research Construction and
Equipment account has provided significant flexibility for the
Foundation to provide adequate resources to ongoing projects
and programs. The Committee also recognizes that certain
aspects of such projects or programs can reasonably be
considered appropriately funded from either of these two
accounts. Nevertheless, the Committee believes that for the
Foundation to maintain clear and distinct records of spending
activities related to each aforementioned account, it is
necessary to provide definitive guidance throughout the
Foundation as to which specific activities are to be accounted
for within each account. Therefore, the Committee directs the
Foundation to develop such guidance, which shall be submitted
to the Committees on Appropriations for review no later than
October 31, 2001. In this regard and to better define the
activities within this account, the Committee has recommended
that the Major Research Equipment account be retitled Major
Research Facilities Construction and Equipment.”

SENATE REPORT:

“The Committee recommends an appropriation of $108,832,000 for
major research equipment. This amount is $12,498,000 less than
the fiscal year 2001 appropriation and $12,500,000 above the
budget request.

“The Committee has provided $16,900,000 for the Large Hadron
Collider, $24,400,000 for the Network for Earthquake
Engineering Simulation, $55,000,000 for Terascale Computing
Systems, and $12,500,000 for initial construction of the
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope.

“The Committee supports initiation of construction of the ALMA
radio telescope and has provided the necessary resources to
start construction. ALMA has conducted thorough design and
development, established management systems for proper
technical and organizational support, and entered into
international cooperative agreements. ALMA is also listed as
one of the highest priority projects in ground based astronomy.
Nevertheless, due to problems raised by the Inspector General
in a recent audit report on another large scale project, the
Committee directs NSF to withhold the expenditure of the ALMA
funds until it has been able to adequately assure the Committee
that NSF has established management and financial controls so
that capital construction expenditures are derived solely from
the major research equipment appropriation account. The
Committee directs the Foundation to include details of its
management and financial controls at the earliest opportunity
but no later than the fiscal year 2002 operating plan
submission.

“The Committee directs NSF to continue to provide multi-year
budgets and milestones in the Justification of Estimates for
all projects funded or proposed to be funded through the major
research equipment account. Additionally, the Committee directs
the Foundation to also include within the Justification of
Estimates for the major research equipment account information
on potential new starts that are undergoing planning and
development. Displayed in priority order, the information on
these potential projects should include multi-year budget
estimates, the status of the project’s development, a time line
for its consideration by the NSF including National Science
Board review and approval, the rationale for its priority
ranking, and other relevant information such as contingency
funding needs, if necessary. The Committee appreciates that
scientific opportunities and technological modifications may
become available unexpectedly that could lead to changes in
project readiness and priority within this account. By
including the requested information in each year’s annual
budget, the Foundation will keep the Committee more adequately
informed of such developments.

“The Committee encourages the Foundation to move forward with
the South Pole Station Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector
(AMANDA) project to its next phase, called IceCube. The
Committee is advised the National Science Board has recently
approved this project. AMANDA’s technological approach has
proven successful at detecting high-energy atmospheric
neutrinos. Continued development is expected to lead to a new
era in astronomy in which scientists will have unique
opportunities to analyze some of the most distant and
significant events in the formation and evolution of the
universe.”

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Richard M .Jones

Public Information Division

The American Institute of Physics

fyi@aip.org

(301) 209-3095

http://www.aip.org/gov

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SpaceRef staff editor.