Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for Major Research Equipment (MRE) is $96.30 million, a decrease of $25.03 million, or 20.6 percent, below the FY 2001 Current Plan of $121.33 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

 FY 2000
FY 2001
 FY 2002
Amount Percent
Major Research Equipment $105.00 $121.33 $96.30 -$25.03 -20.6%


The Major Research Equipment account provides funding for the construction and acquisition of major research facilities that provide unique capabilities at the cutting edge of science and engineering. Projects supported by this account are intended to expand the boundaries of technology and will offer significant new research opportunities, frequently in totally new directions, for the science and engineering community. Operations and maintenance costs of the facilities are provided through the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account.

In FY 2002, funding for three projects is requested through the Major Research Equipment account: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and Terascale Computing Systems.

Funding for the MRE projects is summarized below:

(Millions of Dollars)

 FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
 FY 2002
Large Hadron Collider 15.90 16.36 16.90
Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation 7.70 28.14 24.40
Terascale Computing Systems 36.00 44.90 55.00
Atacama Large Millimeter Array R&D 8.00 5.99 --
HIAPER 8.50 12.47 --
South Pole Station1 16.90 13.47 --
Polar Support Aircraft Upgrades 12.00 -- --
TOTAL, MRE $105.00 $121.33 $96.30

Totals may not add due to rounding.

1$70.97 million in prior year funds are being carried over into FY 2001 in support of the South Pole Modernization and South Pole Safety and Environment Projects.

Large Hadron Collider

The FY 2002 Budget Request includes $16.90 million for construction of two detectors of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). These are ATLAS (A Toroidal Large Angle Spectrometer) and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid). To complete the project, this budget requests advance appropriations of $9.70 million in FY 2003. Total NSF funding for this project is $81.0 million over the period FY 1999-2003. Oversight of this project is provided through the Physics Subactivity within the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Activity.

The LHC is being constructed at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The facility will consist of a superconducting particle accelerator providing two counter-rotating beams of protons, each with energies up to 7 TeV (7x1012 electron volts). ATLAS and CMS are being constructed to characterize the reaction products produced in the very high energy proton-proton collisions which will occur at intersection regions where the two beams collide. The LHC will enable a search for the Higgs particle, the discovery of which will be an important step in understanding the origin of mass of the known elementary particles, and will test the very successful Standard Model, which provides the existing framework for what is known about elementary particles and their interactions. The LHC will also enable a search for a new set of particles, predicted by a powerful theoretical framework known as supersymmetry, which will provide clues as to how the four known forces evolved from different aspects of the same "unified" force in the early universe.

Funding for the overall LHC project, including these two detectors and the accelerator, is being provided through an international partnership involving NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the CERN member states, with CERN member states providing the major portion. The total U.S. contribution will be $531.0 million, with $450.0 million from the DOE and $81.0 million from NSF. NSF and DOE will jointly provide a total contribution of $331.0 million for the detector construction, while DOE will provide the entire U.S. contribution ($200.0 million) for the accelerator construction.

The two LHC detectors will provide partially redundant and partially complementary information aimed at maximizing the chance of discovery. Both detectors will operate at extremely high data rates, which will push the state-of-the-art technology of electronic triggers, data acquisition, and data analysis. LHC experimenters in the U.S. are leading efforts to develop innovative "data grid" technologies that will allow them to analyze data from their own workstations as if they were at the LHC. Development of U.S. computational resources to fully exploit the opportunities that the LHC will present is currently being carried out with support provided through the Physics Subactivity within the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Activity.

The overall LHC construction, including the accelerator and the ATLAS and CMS detectors, is currently scheduled for completion in FY 2005. NSF construction funding for the ATLAS and CMS detectors is scheduled to be completed in FY 2003. Detector construction schedule performance is measured through milestone completion and by earned value. These measurements indicate that schedule progress is slightly behind plans, averaging, at this time, about eighty-five percent of the baseline plan. However, the FY 1999 milestones, though delayed, were all met within FY 1999. Including this slippage, CERN still expects to complete construction of the LHC, with its detectors, and commence initial operations testing all systems in 2005. The U.S. schedules remain consistent with this goal. U.S. cost performance is satisfactory, with material contracts typically below estimates, and labor costs tracking close to plan. Project reviews and reports confirm that each project (ATLAS and CMS) has adequate contingency available. The detector projects are now in the production phase, and cost experience on production labor will be an important future indicator of cost performance.

NSF Support For LHC

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 1999* FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 Total
Large Hadron Collider $22.0 $15.9 $16.4 $16.9 $9.7 $80.9

*Does not include an additional $150,000 provided through the R&RA account.
Totals may not add due to rounding.

Major Milestones for the LHC are outlined below:

FY 2000 Milestones:

  • ATLAS: The end-cap modules of the liquid argon calorimeter (LArCal) mechanical design completed; LArCal electronics/preamplifier production started and final ATLAS level-2 trigger/data acquisition system architecture selected; The start of two new drift tube production lines for muon detection was achieved.

  • CMS: Prototype data acquisition system trigger completed and tested; Began mass production of muon detector electronics boards, and started assembly of cathode strip muon detectors; Pre-production of application-specific integrated circuits achieved; Electron calorimeter electronics test, module prototype, and super module assembly, scheduled for FY 2000, will be completed over FY 2001 and 2002.

FY 2001 Milestones:

  • ATLAS: Start silicon strip detector electronics production and complete signal readout driver design; select final electronics design for the transition radiation detectors; award contract for LArCal front end board single channel analyzer production; complete level 1 trigger final design; cryostat for LarCal to arrive at CERN; start motherboard production for tile calorimeter electronics; start muon detector cathode strip chamber production; complete production of mechanical mount for muon detctors; complete level 2 trigger for data acquisition system.

  • CMS: submit Technical Design Report for trigger system; begin assembly of cathode strip chambers; complete engineering design review for hadron calorimeter (HCAL); technologies choice preparation for 1:N data acquisition system (completed); forward pixel detector system full size sensor and readout chip designs submitted.

FY 2002 Milestones:

  • ATLAS: Start full silicon strip detector module production; start production of transition radiation tracker detector application-specific integrated circuits; complete readout driver design, electronics motherboard production, and barrel feedthroughs for LArCAL; complete tile calorimeter module production; complete muon drift tube detector signal processing electronics review; complete final design of global alignment devices for the muon detector system; complete level 2 trigger design; start production of trigger/data acquisition system (Trigger/DAQ); and start Trigger/DAQ installation and commissioning.

  • CMS: calibration and testing of electromagnetic calorimeter (ECAL) supermodule section1; submit DAQ Technical Design Report; delivery of barrel absorbers to CERN; complete assembly of barrel framework, absorbers, and support structure surrounding solenoid in CERN CMS surface hall; half of barrel electromagnetic calorimeter modules completed, tested and calibrated.

FY 2003 Milestones:

  • Define HCAL scintillating fiber diameter; complete front end electronics production for HCAL2; Continued mass production of ATLAS and CMS detector subsystems (including all associated electronics), assembly, alignment, testing, and calibration.

FY 2004-2005 Milestones:

  • Start ATLAS and CMS detector installation and testing in underground halls.

FY 2006 Milestones:

  • First data using both ATLAS and CMS detectors.

1,2 These milestones were originally scheduled for completion in FY 2001. Please note that these and certain other ATLAS and CMS items are delayed; however, these are not on critical paths. The overall ATLAS and CMS schedules have not slipped and the overall projects are within cost estimates.

George E. Brown, Jr. Network For Earthquake Engineering Simulation

The FY 2002 request to continue construction of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is $24.40 million. To complete this project, the Foundation requests advance appropriations of $13.56 million in FY 2003 and $8.0 million in FY 2004. Total NSF funding for this project, including both the experimental facilities and the network, is $81.80 million over the period FY 2000-2004. Oversight of this project will be provided through the Civil and Mechanical Systems Subactivity within the Engineering (ENG) Activity in the Research and Related Activities Account.

The goal of NEES is to provide a national, networked collaboratory of geographically-distributed, shared use next-generation experimental research equipment sites, with teleobservation and teleoperation capabilities. NEES will transform the environment for earthquake engineering research and education through collaborative and integrated experimentation, computation, theory, databases, and model-based simulation to improve the seismic design and performance of U.S. civil and mechanical infrastructure systems. NEES includes three major components: the network system, the shared-use earthquake engineering research equipment, and the operating NEES Consortium. The NEES collaboratory will include approximately 20 equipment sites networked together through the high performance Internet. The network will provide access for telepresence at the NEES equipment sites and will use cutting-edge tools to link high performance computational and data storage facilities, including a curated repository for experimental and analytical earthquake engineering and related data. In addition, the network will provide distributed physical and numerical simulation capabilities and resources for visualization of experimental and computed data. With completion of the construction period in September 2004, the NEES collaboratory will enter its operational period from October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2014 and be managed by the NEES Consortium.

NEES will upgrade, modernize, expand, and network the nation's major earthquake engineering research facilities. The NEES equipment portfolio will include: shake table research equipment; centrifuge research equipment; tsunami/wave tank research equipment; large-scale laboratory experimentation systems, such as reaction wall systems, earthquake load simulation equipment, and response modification experimental equipment; and field experimentation and monitoring installations, such as mobile laboratories and equipment for monitoring and testing full-scale structures and geotechnical field sites. A Phase 1 competition for NEES equipment in FY 2000 led to selection of 11 equipment sites at 10 institutions for a total of $45.0 million. Through a Phase 2 equipment competition, five to ten additional sites will be selected in FY 2002.

The NEES Consortium will provide the leadership, management, and coordination for the NEES collaboratory. The NEES Consortium will be developed during FY 2002-2003 by the NEES Consortium Development awardee and will establish a broad and integrated partnership that includes participation of the full membership of the earthquake engineering community. The NEES Consortium will be established in FY 2003 and will operate the NEES collaboratory from FY 2005-2014, including implementing shared-use access policies for the NEES equipment and coordinating outreach and training activities for use of the NEES collaboratory, including the NEES equipment.

NSF Support for NEES

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 Total
Total, NEES $7.70 $28.14 $24.40 $13.56 $8.00 $81.80

Milestones for the NEES are outlined below:

FY 2000 Milestones (accomplished)

  • Select prototype development awardees for NEES system integration; and

  • Select equipment designs and 11 equipment sites for Phase 1 of NEES.

FY 2001 Milestones

  • Initiate construction of NEES Phase 1 equipment;

  • Select NEES network system architecture and begin design and construction of the network system;

  • Outreach to the earthquake engineering community to obtain input for detailed network design; and

  • Select NEES Consortium Development awardee.

FY 2002 Milestones

  • Select equipment designs and five to ten new sites for Phase 2 of NEES and begin construction;

  • Continue Phase 1 equipment construction and calibration;

  • Outreach to the earthquake engineering community to develop the NEES Consortium;

  • Continue development of the network;

  • Begin to establish equipment site connections for system integration; and

  • Coordinate outreach and training activities for equipment sites as they become operational.

FY 2003 Milestones

  • Continue Phases 1 and 2 equipment construction and begin calibration;

  • Establish NEES Consortium entity;

  • Initiate system integration test bed operations; and

  • Coordinate outreach and training activities for equipment sites as they become operational.

FY 2004 Milestones

  • Complete equipment construction and calibration of all Phases 1 and 2 equipment;

  • All equipment sites networked and operational;

  • Coordinate outreach and training activities for equipment sites as they become operational;

  • Complete testing of network system;

  • Network system operational; and

  • NEES Consortium management structure completed for operation in FY 2005.

Construction funding for the NEES experimental facilities and network integration is scheduled to be completed in FY 2004. When NEES is completed, it will be operated during FY 2005-2014 by a NSF-funded NEES Consortium that includes participation from host institutions, affiliate organizations, and the user community.

Terascale Computing Systems

There is growing recognition that information technology, particularly computational simulation and modeling is a key contributor to United States economic growth and competitiveness, defense capabilities, environmental studies, climatology, and scientific and engineering research. For over a decade, NSF has led all federal agencies in providing high-performance computing systems and networks to the nation's academic science and engineering communities.

NSF's Information Technology Research priority area will provide access to terascale computing resources for the science and engineering community. Such access to leading edge computing capabilities and advanced computing research is critical to maintaining the nation's leading edge and to educating the next generation of computer and computational scientists.

The Terascale Computing Systems project will enable U.S. researchers to gain access to leading edge computing capabilities. The project will be connected to NSF's existing Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI), and will be coordinated with the activities of other agencies, such as DOE, to leverage the software, tools, and technology investments.

The Terascale Computing Facility funded under the MRE account awarded $36.0 million in FY 2000 to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to build a 6 teraflop computer system. Construction has begun and they are achieving benchmarks on a small scale system. The full system is expected to be ready by October 1, 2001. A competition is currently underway for the Distributed Terascale facility funded at the $45.0 million level in FY 2001. This will include a single-site, 5 teraflop computer. In response to the needs of the high-performance computing community, proposals for this facility are also asked to propose advanced data handling, interaction with remote sites, large scale storage (petabytes or a million billion characters of storage), and multi-gigabit per second networking. This will respond to the increasing demands of computational scientists to handle large volumes of data from instruments and simulations and to work in distributed "virtual" teams.

The FY 2002 Request includes $55.0 million for the third year of developing terascale computing. The Foundation has convened a Blue Ribbon Panel, chaired by Dr. Daniel Atkins of the University of Michigan, for advice on the needs of high-performance computing research. At this time, we anticipate that recommendations will address such issues as high volume and high performance storage systems, increasing connections to instruments such as telescopes and accelerators, that produce high volumes of raw data, expanded development of new facilities for visualization and tele-collaboration, and development of new methods to analyze and process scientific data.

These Terascale Computing Systems will receive regular upgrades to assure taking advantage of technology trends in speed and performance while providing the most advanced, stable systems possible to the research users. Funds to operate and upgrade the Terascale Computing Systems will be provided through the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Activity within the Research and Related Activities Account.

NSF Support for the Terascale Computing System

(Millions of dollars)

  FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 Total
Total, Terascale Computing System $36.0 $44.9 $55.0 $135.9

Milestones for the Terascale Computing System are outlined below:

FY 2000 Milestones:

  • Competition for initial site for Terascale Computing Systems.

FY 2001 Milestones:

  • Initial site in "friendly user" mode; and

  • Competition for second site initiated.

FY 2002 Milestones

  • Begin full operations of Terascale Computing Facility (initial site)

  • Begin construction of Distributed Terascale Facility (second site)

Atacama Large Millimeter Array

Originally referred to as the Millimeter Array (MMA), this project was conceived as an aperture-synthesis radio telescope operating in the wavelength range from 3 to 0.4 mm.

International or other-agency participation at the 25-50% level has been a goal of the this project from the outset. Extensive discussions with potential partners in Europe and Japan were carried out during FY 1999, and in June 1999, a memorandum of understanding merging U.S. and European design and development efforts for an expanded array to be called the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) was signed between the National Science Foundation and a consortium of European institutions and funding agencies. As part of the joint Design and Development program, the U.S. and European partners have adopted identical antenna specifications, and agreed to select different contractors in order to maintain the maximum degree of competition in the antenna selection process.

The goal of the U.S.-European ALMA partnership is an array consisting of 64 antennas 12 meters in diameter. The U.S. share of the joint array will not exceed $292 million, including design and development funds (FY 1999 dollars); the construction of such an array is expected to take 9 years. The intent of the European ALMA partners is to match equally the maximum U.S. share of the ALMA project in order to construct the most scientifically capable array possible. Joint detailed cost and scope studies of the array by the partners have been carried out, and a high-level agreement, specifying the details of the U.S.-European capital construction partnership, has been drafted. Canada has proposed to join the U.S. side of the ALMA partnership and Japan remains interested in the possibility of joining ALMA as a third major partner at a later date.

ALMA will be the world's most sensitive, highest resolution, millimeter-wavelength telescope. It will combine an angular resolution comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescope with the sensitivity of a single antenna nearly 100 meters in diameter. The array will provide a testing ground for theories of star birth and stellar evolution, galaxy formation and evolution, and the evolution of the universe itself. It will reveal the inner workings of the central black hole "engines" which power quasars, and will make possible a search for earth-like planets around hundreds of nearby stars.

A $26.0 million, three-year Design and Development Phase was originally planned for the MMA project. However, since the original three year plan was initiated, the U.S. entered into a partnership with a European consortium to develop ALMA. Because of the expanded managerial and technical complexity of the ALMA concept, an additional year of Design and Development was proposed for FY 2001, at a budget level of $6.0 million. For FY 2002 a funding level of $9.0 million is proposed within the Research and Related Activities Account. This is primarily to further develop the scope and cost adjustments, to maintain the momentum and personnel base within the U.S. side of the project, and to test the 2 antenna prototypes with our European partners. Research will continue on several fronts, including high-frequency superconducting receivers, the local oscillator system required for the full array, and the U.S.-European antenna prototype test interferometer.

The proposal to fund ALMA within the Research and Related Activities account is tentative pending the review of facilities management issues and the development of a plan to enhance the Foundation's management of large facilities. It may be determined that it is more appropriate to fund ALMA from within the Major Research Equipment account.

NSF Support for the ALMA R&D

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 Total
ALMA R&D $9.0 $9.0 $8.0 $6.0 $32.0

Funds in FY 1998 through FY 2001 werre provided through the Major Research Equipment Account. In FY 2002, $9.0 million is being requested for this project through the Research and Related Activities Account.
Funding for the U.S. share of construction of a joint array will be requested only after appropriate approvals by the National Science Board.

In accordance with GPRA standards, MMA project milestones were placed on a strict fiscal year (as opposed to program year) basis beginning with the FY 2001 budget submission. There was no significant schedule slippage in the project during the first two program years. Milestones for the MMA project are outlined below.

FY 1998 Milestones (accomplished)

  • Begin negotiations with possible international partners; and

  • Design and begin construction of prototype receivers.

FY 1999 Milestones (accomplished)

  • Select MMA site;

  • Design antenna;

  • Design prototype correlator, computer/software system, LO and fiber optic systems;

  • Complete first prototype receiver components; and

  • Select local oscillator system.

FY 2000 Milestones (accomplished)

  • Select prototype antenna contractor;

  • Finalize agreements with international partners; and

  • Deliver prototype correlator and receivers to test site (will be held in lab until needed at test site)

FY 2001 Milestones

  • Sign bilateral U.S.-European construction agreement; and

  • Explore trilateral agreement with Japan

FY 2002 Milestones

  • Deliver U.S. prototype antenna to test site (late 2001);

  • Deliver European prototype antenna to test site (early 2002); and

  • Begin testing U.S and European prototype antennas at New Mexico test site.

During FY 2002, NSF will decide whether to proceed to the Capital Construction Phase of the project. This will enable NSF to reevaluate the project before undertaking future expenditures.

High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research

In FY 2001, $12.47 million was provided for the High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) project, a new atmospheric research aircraft, and to develop associated next-generation instrumentation. Added to the $8.50 million appropriated in FY 2000, HIAPER support to date totals nearly $21.0 million. HIAPER will allow cutting edge science to be conducted in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner than previously possible. With operational capabilities complementary to the existing U.S. airborne science fleet, HIAPER will allow research into many of the outstanding issues in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere.

No funds for HIAPER are requested in FY 2002. Major Milestones for HIAPER include:

FY 2000 Milestones

  • Develop RFP for airframe procurement; and

  • Initiate instrumentation developments and validation experiments.

FY 2001 Milestones

  • Complete evaluation of proposals that were received at the end of FY 00;

  • Meet with potential vendors to clarify open issues;

  • Conduct necessary structural modification tradeoffs with respect to cost and science requirements;

  • Conduct engineering studies and evaluate aircraft certification requirements;

  • Conduct instrument workshops and prioritize instrument needs;

  • Initiate phase zero instrument designs; and

  • Reserve production slot for airframe.

South Pole Station

Because of its location on an ice sheet at Earth's axis of rotation, its altitude and cold dry atmosphere, six-month-long days and nights, and its remoteness from centers of human population, the station at the South Pole has important advantages for conducting world-leading science in areas such as infrared and submillimeter astronomy, the study of seismic and atmospheric waves, and research on long-term effects of human activities on the atmosphere.

The South Pole is of particular geopolitical significance due to its location at the convergence of the territorial claims of six of the Antarctic Treaty nations. NSF-supported activity achieves the foreign policy objective of maintaining U.S. presence in Antarctica, while providing an observatory for several fields of science. The scientific opportunities are unique as a result of the particular geophysical conditions at the South Pole.

The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) External Panel, convened in October 1996, examined infrastructure, management, and science options for USAP, including consideration of South Pole Station. The Panel noted that funds specifically appropriated in FY 1997 (South Pole Safety Project) would rectify the most extreme safety, health and environmental concerns at the South Pole, but did not address the underlying problems of aging facilities in a life-threatening environment. The Panel also stated that further life-extension efforts devoted to the existing South Pole facility were not cost effective, and recommended that the station be replaced. Based on this recommendation, the South Pole Station Modernization project was initiated.

South Pole Station Modernization

The goals of South Pole Station Modernization (SPSM) are to:

  • Provide a safe working and living environment

  • Provide a platform for science

  • Achieve a 25-year station life

  • Maintain a U.S. presence in accordance with national policy

The new station will be an elevated station complex with two connected buildings, supporting 110 people (46 science personnel and 64 support personnel) in the summer, and 50 people (31 science personnel and 19 support personnel) in the winter. The total cost estimate is $127.9 million. The project is within budget.

The table below indicates the amounts appropriated for SPSM. Funding was completed in FY 2001.

Support for SPSM

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 Total
South Pole Station Modernization $70.0 $39.0 $5.4 $13.5 $127.9

The estimates include materials, labor, logistics for transportation of all material and personnel to the South Pole, construction support, inspection, and equipment. The location at the South Pole requires significant lead time for construction projects because of the long procurement cycle, the shipping constraints (one vessel per year to deliver materials), and the shortened period for construction at the South Pole (100 days per year). Construction began in FY 1999 with an estimated completion date of FY 2005.

The FY 2001 season (November 2000 to mid-February 2001) was characterized by extremely poor weather, which caused many on-continent flights to be cancelled. The Air National Guard responded by scheduling many additional flights, but in the end only 58% of the planned SPSM construction materials could be delivered. The effect of the reduced cargo is that this year's planned winter-over construction program will be less than planned, and not all milestones for this fiscal year will be met. Because the cargo requirements also included cargo for next season - to allow a jump start at the beginning of the season - this has potential impacts on FY02 milestones as well.

We are in the process of analyzing the longer term consequences on SPSM construction of this year's inclement weather. We will be able to definitively describe the impact on schedule and cost of the entire project by early summer.

SPSM Milestones

Activity Procurement Transport to Antarctica Airlift to South Pole Start Construction Finish
Vertical Circular Tower FY98 FY99 FY99/00 FY00 FY02
Quarters/Galley FY98 FY99 FY00/FY01 FY01 FY02
Sewer Outfall FY98 FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02
Fuel Storage (100K gallons) FY98 FY98 FY99 FY99 FY99
Medical/Science FY99 FY00 FY01/02 FY02 FY03
Communications/Administration FY99 FY01 FY02/03 FY03 FY04
Dark Sector Lab FY98 FY99 FY99/00 FY00 FY02
Water Well FY00 FY01 FY01/02 FY02 FY03
Remote RF Building FY99 FY00 FY01 FY01 FY01
Emergency Power/Quarters FY99 FY01 FY02/03 FY03 FY04
Liquid nitrogen and helium facility FY00 FY01 FY02 FY03 FY03
Quarters/Multipurpose FY99 FY02 FY03/04 FY04 FY05
Electronic Systems and Communications FY00 FY01 FY01/04 FY01 FY04
Warehousing, SEH and Waste Management
Station Equipment FY02 FY03 FY04   FY04

South Pole Safety Project

Funding was provided in FY 1997 to address urgent and critical safety and environmental concerns at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. A total of $25.0 million was provided for improvements to the heavy equipment maintenance facility, the power plant, and the fuel storage facilities. Milestones for each component are below. The project is scheduled to be operational by FY 2002. All of these facilities are currently operational, on budget and on schedule.


Transport to Antarctica 
Airlift to South Pole 
Start Construction 
Heavy Equipment Maintenance Facility Arch FY97 FY97 FY97/FY98 FY98 FY98
Heavy Equipment Maintenance Facility Building FY97 FY98 FY98/FY99 FY00 FY00
Power Plant Arch and Building FY97 FY98 FY99 FY00 FY01
Fuel Storage System FY97 FY98 FY98/FY99 FY99 FY99

Polar Support Aircraft Upgrades

Ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft are the backbone of the U.S. Antarctic Program's (USAP) air transport. LC-130s also support NSF's research in the Arctic. The Air National Guard (ANG) assumed operational control of all LC-130s, and since March 1999 has provided the sole LC-130 support to the USAP. The ANG has six LC-130s and also flies one recently acquired NSF-owned aircraft. Three additional NSF-owned LC-130s required upgrades and modifications to meet Air Force safety and operability standards.

A total of $32.0 million was appropriated for the upgrades in FY 1999 and FY 2000. This includes funds for engineering, avionics, airframe, safety, propulsion, electronics and communications, equipment for black box installation, storage, and project administration.

A competitive contract for the modifications was awarded and is being administered by the Air Logistics Command at Robins Air Force Base (Warner Robins, Georgia). The first aircraft modification was scheduled to be completed in FY 2000, but was delayed. The original schedule for completion did not realistically account for the complexity of the modifications or for the difficulty in obtaining certain critical parts. The aircraft modification of the first aircraft was completed in February 2001. The 2nd and 3rd aircraft modifications are still scheduled for completion in FY 2001.

Current milestones:


Preliminary Engineering

Start Modification

Finish Modification

Model 741 FY98 FY99 FY01
Model 740 FY98 FY00 FY01
Model 129 FY99 FY00 FY01

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