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Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences Records
RSS 2104  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Preferred Citation
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related Collections
  • OFF-SITE STORAGE

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences Records
    Creator: University of California, San Diego. Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
    Creator: Wolfe, Arthur M.
    Creator: Burbidge, E. Margaret
    Creator: Peterson, L. E. (Laurence E.)
    Identifier/Call Number: RSS 2104
    Physical Description: 84 Linear feet (84 record cartons)
    Date (inclusive): 1954-1996
    Abstract: The records of the UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) include materials related to the administrative functions, research proposals, and projects of CASS, as well as the records of the High Energy Astronomy Group (HEAG).

    Preferred Citation

    Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences Records, RSS 2104. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Administrative History

    The UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) is an organized research unit that was founded in 1979 to provide scientific direction for the interrelated departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at UCSD. Designed to link scientists and UCSD scientific departments, it provides a unified management structure for handling federally funded space research projects, and strengthened the quality of space science education and research at UCSD. CASS has given administrative support to such projects as the Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gamma-Ray Spectrometers on Apollo missions 15 and 16, and to the High Energy Astrophysics Group (HEAG).
    As an interdisciplinary research unit, CASS makes collaboration possible between the disciplines of astronomy, astrophysics, and space sciences, and all of the areas of specialization within those disciplines. CASS provides administrative support for research groups through program coordination, contract and grant administration, and resource allocation. These research groups include faculty, research staff, and graduate students. Examples of CASS research groups include Observational Cosmology, Gravitation Astrophysics, High Energy Astronomy, and Plasma Astrophysics.
    Founding administrators hoped the new entity would lead to interdisciplinary opportunities in scientific inquiry and in educational curricula and platforms available to UCSD graduate students. The heightened administrative capability that CASS could provide facilitated the participation in, and sometimes leadership of, large research projects such as the Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, the Long Wavelength Spectrometer on the Keck Telescope, and the Burst and Transient Source Experiment on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.
    CASS is managed by a single Director and at least one Associate Director. The director reports to the Office of Research Affairs, and specifically to the Vice Chancellor of Research (VCR) and the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (SVCAA). The founding director of CASS was Dr. Margaret Burbidge (1979-1988), followed by Dr. Laurence Peterson (1988-1997), Dr. Arthur M. Wolfe (1997-2007), and Dr. George Fuller (2007-present). CASS derives its funding and activities from contracts and research grants. The research groups share members and are fluid in their aggregation of personnel and resources, which change according to project priority, funding, and staff availability. Members of CASS serve on various Center committees including the Executive and Policy Committee, the Education Committee, and the Computing Ad Hoc Committee.
    High Energy Astronomy Group A large portion of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences Records collection is made up of the records of the High Energy Astronomy Group (HEAG), an interdisciplinary research collaboration committed to the study of x-ray and gamma-ray phenomena of solar, galactic, stellar, and planetary origin. Notable members of the group have included Robert Farnsworth, Duane Gruber, Hugh Hudson, Richard Lingenfelter, James Matteson, Michael Pelling, Laurence Peterson, and Richard Rothschild.
    HEAG was created in 1962 with the arrival of Laurence Peterson at UCSD. Peterson had been working on the Orbiting Solar Observatory 1 (OSO-1) mission as a research assistant at the University of Minnesota, and continued his involvement with the project when he accepted the position of assistant professor of physics at UCSD. His work on OSO-1, and his work in high energy astrophysics, attracted the interest and input of UCSD scientists. In 1961, just prior to his move to California, Peterson submitted a proposal to NASA through UCSD with the knowledge that he would soon be moving his work to the university, and with the desire to develop a research program there. The proposal was accepted, and HEAG was created.
    The scientific ballooning experiments associated with the planning and development of the OSO missions connected the scientific faculty of the two universities and began a long and fruitful development of x-ray and gamma-ray detectors. The first OSO was launched on March 7, 1962, and the University of Minnesota Gamma-Ray Experiment onboard returned data on low energy gamma-radiation in space. The data includes the participation of researchers and technical support at both institutions, although the prime analysis was accomplished at UCSD. Concurrently, the associated UCSD research staff and graduate students of HEAG were planning experiments for several other missions.
    The early 1960s were a time of preparation for the Apollo missions, the Octahedral Research Satellite, the Orbiting Solar Observatories, and other future missions to study solar and cosmic x-ray and gamma-ray phenomena. X-ray and gamma-ray detectors developed by HEAG flew on many of these early missions, providing valuable information on the near-earth radiation environment and on high energy processes on the sun and in the galaxy. Scientific balloons were launched throughout this period to test equipment and to gather exploratory data on solar and on various galactic objects.
    The late 1960s brought more projects, and the HEAG began work on instruments for solar observatories and for High Energy Astrophysical Observatories. The high energy monitoring instruments developed for these missions provided data leading to a better understanding of the high energy sky and the processes in stars and stellar objects that produce x-rays and gamma-rays. As the number and frequency of missions increased, the group developed more advanced techniques. Instruments for NASA missions, such as the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM), and experiments for the Space Shuttle were studied in the 1970s. SMM was launched in 1980, and studied high energy phenomena on the sun. Instruments for planetary missions such as Mariner 10 and Voyager were also studied by HEAG.
    In 1979, the UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) was founded, and HEAG officially became an active branch of this larger organization. Information on active galaxies, gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and supernovae has been provided by various high energy instruments developed by CASS and HEAG in co-operation with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other space research organizations. The Gamma-Ray Observatories Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy Experiment (GRSE), part of NASA's Great Observatories Program, and the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) were planned and developed in the 1980s. Although the GRSE was not selected for flight, the BATSE was launched on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory in April 1991, and has been instrumental in furthering our understanding of the location, nature and source of gamma-ray bursts.
    The 1980s also yielded an extensive development and balloon test program to accomplish high resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, and several studies were made to implement these detection systems on space missions. During the 1990s, the group continued to study the high energy sky with the High Energy X-Ray Timing Experiment on the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (HEXTE), launched on December 30, 1995. The group was also involved with the Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) on the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1989. The FOS has played an important role in the research on black holes and distant galaxies.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records of the UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences are organized into two sections: 1) Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) records, and 2) High Energy Astronomy Group (HEAG) records.
    The first section, the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) records, includes materials related to the administrative functions, research proposals, and projects of CASS. These records document the establishment and development of the Center, and includes the founding materials and bylaws of CASS, correspondence from the director's office, committee meeting minutes and agendas, and research projects.
    Arranged in four series: 1) GENERAL RECORDS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) COMMITTEES AND MEETINGS, and 4) RESEARCH PROJECTS AND PROPOSALS.
    The second section, the High Energy Astronomy Group (HEAG) records, include the files and correspondence of HEAG members, as well as HEAG research files, project files, conference papers, and notes. The extensive research and project files document the scientific research and creation of the instruments used on several prominent space missions. This section also contains records documenting a number of NASA missions for which HEAG submitted proposals, but were not chosen. In 1998, the HEAG records were separated from Laurence Peterson's faculty papers and treated as an individual collection. In 2016, it was decided to integrate these records into the CASS collection.
    Arranged in 16 series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) APOLLO MISSIONS, 3) BURST AND TRANSIENT SOURCE EXPERIMENT (BATSE), 4) GAMMA-RAY SPECTROSCOPY EXPERIMENT (GRSE), 5) HIGH ENERGY X-RAY TIMING EXPERIMENT (HEXTE), 6) HIGH ENERGY ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY 1 (HEAO-1), 7) HIGH ENERGY ASTRONOMICAL OBERSVATORY 3 (HEAO-3), 8) LUNAR X-RADIATION AND GAMMA-RADIATION, 9) OCTAHEDRAL RESEARCH SATELLITE 3 (ORS-3), 10) ORBITING SOLAR OBSERVATORY-1 (S-16), 11) ORBITING SOLAR OBSERVATORY-3 (S-57), 12) ORBITING SOLAR OBSERVATORY-7 (OSO-7), 13) SCIENTIFIC BALLOONING, 14) SPACE SHUTTLE – SPACELAB, 15) MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES, and 16) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

    Related Collections

    Laurence Peterson Papers (MSS 73) Richard Lingenfelter Papers (MSS 425) Geoffrey Burbidge Papers (MSS 735) Margaret Burbidge Papers (MSS 736)

    OFF-SITE STORAGE

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Orbiting astronomical observatories
    High Energy Astronomy Observatories
    Astrophysics
    Astronomy
    Cosmochemistry
    Gamma ray astronomy
    X-ray astronomy
    University of California, San Diego. Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences -- Archives
    Compton Observatory
    University of California, San Diego. Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. High Energy Astronomy Group -- Archives