Adaptive optics center funded

In late July, the National Science Foundation's governing body, the National Science Board, approved a proposal to establish a Center for Adaptive Optics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, with Lawrence Livermore as an important partner. The center will coordinate the work of researchers across the country involved in the rapidly developing field of adaptive optics, which has major applications in astronomy, vision science, and high-power laser beams. (See S&TR, July/August 1999, pp. 12-19.)
The Center for Adaptive Optics, which begins operation in November 1999, is one of five science and technology centers approved by the National Science Foundation this year. NSF program guidelines allow for financial commitments of up to $20 million over five years for each center, with an option to renew for an additional five years.
UC Santa Cruz's 27 partner institutions in the center include Lawrence Livermore; the University of California at Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Irvine; the University of Chicago; the California Institute of Technology; the University of Rochester; the University of Houston; Indiana University; and 17 other national laboratory, industry, and international partners.
Claire Max, director of the Laboratory's University Relations Program, said that Livermore is well positioned to play a big role in the collaboration. According to Max, "The Center for Adaptive Optics will provide the sustained effort needed to bring adaptive optics from promise to widespread use by astronomers and vision researchers." Contact: Claire Max (925) 422-5442 (max1@llnl.gov).

Two DOE centers study CO2 storage

As part of its global climate change research program, the Department of Energy has formed two centers to study the capture and long-term storage (sequestration) of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The ultimate goal of these centers is to make carbon sequestration a potential component of future international efforts to reduce CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, which is believed to contribute to global warming.
The DOE Center for Research on Ocean Carbon Sequestration (DOCS) will focus on oceanic ecosystems. It is a collaboration of numerous academic and oceanographic institutions led by Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and will receive $3 million over three years.
Livermore's Ken Caldeira and Berkeley's Jim Bishop are the center's codirectors. According to Caldeira, "The Lab and Berkeley bring complementary activities to the center. We have experience in modeling the oceanic carbon cycle and in simulation, and Berkeley has experience in observation and monitoring."
DOCS will research the feasibility, effectiveness, and environmental acceptability of ocean carbon sequestration. Research will assess the environmental consequence of possibly increasing the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean through CO2 injection into the deep ocean and CO2 fertilization of ocean organisms.
The Center for Research on Enhancing Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems (CSITE) is also a diverse collaboration, led by Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Argonne national laboratories. It will receive $6 million over three years.
CSITE will research ways to use plants, microbes, and soil management practices to cause more carbon to be stored below ground without major sacrifices in aboveground yields. It will also investigate lengthening the time carbon is sequestered in the soil as a means of limiting atmospheric concentrations. And it will study ways to measure, monitor, and verify sequestration so that national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions can be appropriately accounted for. Contact: Ken Caldeira (925) 423-4191 (caldeira2@llnl.gov).

Lab part of Next-Generation Internet

In early August, the Department of Energy announced appropriation of $15 million to finance 19 projects related to the emerging government-supported network called the Next-Generation Internet. The network will have the capability of carrying massive amounts of electronic, video, and voice signals at the speed of light-that is, about a thousand times faster than a standard Internet connection.
A localized version of the network already connects agencies in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area. The expanded network is expected to link a select group of agencies across the nation and around the globe.
Lawrence Livermore, Sandia/California and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center are among the contributors to this Next Generation Internet project.
Bill Lennon, a program leader in Next Generation Internet research at Livermore, says that the increase in financial support will allow researchers to create software that can manage and secure data on the new network. "We have to customize the way that the data is sent, todo applications that have never been done before, . . . to identify the holes-the things that people haven't thought of," said Lennon.
Livermore is the lead in one Next Generation Internet project that will study weather change and predictability by conducting high-definition simulations of global weather patterns. The project will receive $3.6 million in support per year for three years. Contact: Bill Lennon (925) 422-1091 (lennon4@llnl.gov).
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