12 June, 2009
Holiday Inn Select, Montreal, Quebec
Attendees: M. Dixon (UoG), Chair. A. Berinstain (CSA), C. Herd (UoA), R. Herd (NRCan), J. Nadeau (McGU), J. Whiteway (YU), P. Sylvester (MUN), B. Rivard (UoA), J. McConnell (YU), S. Braham (SFU) Telecon: T. Rondeau Vuk (UoG), Secretary, Regrets: B. Sherwood-Lollar (UT), V. Hipkin (CSA), V. Singhroy (NRCan).
[Note that the new CSA Class Grant and Contribution program has not been approved. Until such time as it is, all information shown below has no validity. Furthermore, the following is a current draft implementation plan and may be amended. It is intended as an indication of what might be put in place when the program is approved rather than what will be implemented.]
Partnership opportunities: Chairs CSA will establish a need to build capacity in academia in criticial areas that respond to the Long Term Space Plan. Current plan is for universities to respond to a CSA competitive RFP with a desire to create a position (Chair) that responds to the identified need before their hiring process begins. Once selected, funding is conditionally pre-approved by CSA to the university before a candidate is selected. Final approval of a grant will be conditional on the final candidate and university fully meeting the criteria of the RFP.
Supplements: These will no longer be awarded directly to student/post doc. Plan is to support an established researcher with a grant through a competitive process. The researcher must be performing research in an area of priority for the CSA and must have an operating grant from another granting council or agency to support the targeted research. The grant will be used to strengthen his/her program through the hiring of Highly Qualified Personnel (graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows).
Grants and Contribution program Targeted Timeline: The intent is to submit the new program to Treasury Board for an approval in the autumn of 2009. On approval, CSA will start to release Announcements of Opportunity to the academic community.
The Announcement of Opportunity closed Oct 31, 2008. 59 eligible proposals were received. Scientific peer review was performed by NSERC on behalf of CSA (70% of final score). CSA performed a programmatic review (30%). A final review committee comprised of Canadian scientists was struck to provide final rankings. A final ranked list submitted to the Space Science Director General. Awards are expected to be announced by end of August.
Exploration Core activities are within CSA's Exploration thrust. It is limited to pre-phase A, activities, focusing on concept studies, prototyping & analogue deployment. Exploration Core does not replace STDP or science development programs. Vicky Hipkin is currently acting as Chief Scientist. This year is the third year of activity and budget stimulus funds have been added. The bulk of stimulus funds support Exploration Surface Mobility, and Next Generation Canadarm prototyping. For ESM rover platforms, CSA is selecting deployment scenarios and leading deployments, contractors will develop the platform and support deployment and subsystem contractors will develop the subsystem, support the integration and deployment. There are three rover developments: a moon crew rover; ISRU science/crew moon rover, and a Mars science rover. The goal of the Mars science rover development is to participate in Mars Sample Return and precursor activities. A set of RFP's for instruments will be distributed based on information from Science Definition Teams. There will be opportunities for academia to participate in rover deployment as scientists associated with instrument teams.
The desire is to make full utilization of access rights to ISS. Canada has access to 2.4% of the resources on board. Life Sciences and Physical Sciences make the most use of this. ISS can also be used as a technology test bed. E.g., Avatar where Bob Thirsk will be controlling small robot at CSA Mars yard from ISS.