Carnegie Institution of Washington

To encourage development of scientific instruments for the International Deep Carbon Observatory

  • Amount $900,000
  • City Washington, DC
  • Investigator Robert Hazen
  • Year 2010
  • Program Science
  • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory

When the Foundation initiated support for the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), advisors and reviewers emphasized the importance of timely instrument development. The success of the DCO's ten-year plan depends not only on network building, fund-raising, and drilling but on instruments ready to do the range of analyses foreseen. Much effort since the July 1, 2009 launch of the DCO has gone into understanding and addressing instrument needs. The DCO leadership invited ten groups to submit requests and plans for instruments that the international leadership deemed especially important and promising. This resulted in seven highly promising projects totaling $1.7 million. This grant will support six of these seven instrument development projects, oversight of which is to be conducted by the Deep Carbon Observatory leadership at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The seventh project is funded through a separate Sloan Foundation grant to the University of California at Los Angeles. The instruments to be developed and the developing institutions to be funded under this grant are: Institution Instrument University of Southern California Down-hole logging instrumentation University of New Mexico Volcano gas monitoring Stanford University Synchrotron X-ray spectrometer Institute of High Pressure Physics, Troitsk Russia Diamond-anvil cells (high pressure-temperature devices) Moscow State University Gas chromatograph Institute for Physics of the Globe, Paris Gas-source mass spectrometer The inherent challenges of technical progress as well as required matching funds introduce considerable uncertainty into the process of instrument development, but the Foundation believes these projects position the Deep Carbon Observatory well for timely success in this crucial dimension of its activity.

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