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Invitation to Propose to Join LISA International Science Team

Dear Colleague: 

This letter is an invitation to scientists and technologists at U.S. 
institutions to serve a nominal 3-year term as a member of the LISA 
International Science Team (IST).  Some of you are already familiar 
with this program and aware of the scientific importance of this 
significant mission for both fundamental physics and astrophysics.  
More information on LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) may be 
found at the following web sites: 


LISA has been conceived as a joint NASA-ESA mission for space 
gravitational wave detection with comparable contributions from each 
agency as well as contributions from individual European Space Agency 
member states.  Launch is tentatively planned for 2009-10. 

This LISA International Science Team will, in part, replace the current 
ad hoc European LISA Study Team , chaired by Prof. Karsten Danzmann of 
the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik of Garching.  The IST will 
also replace the current US LISA Mission Definition Team, chaired by 
Prof. Sterl Phinney of Caltech.  The IST will typically meet twice per 
year.  The travel expenses to these meetings for U.S. members will be 
reimbursed for non civil servants and non local attendees.  I hope that 
you will consider proposing to join this important group.  Your reply 
to this invitation should be received by April 27, 2001.  

I am attaching a current draft Charter for the LISA International 
Science Team, so that you can see the kinds of issues that will be 
addressed by this team. 

If you are interested in becoming a member of this committee, please 
submit a letter to the address below, including: 
1. Your expression of interest in serving on this definition team, 
2. Your relevant experience and expertise (a curriculum vita and list 
of selected publications is suggested), 
3. What unique talents you might bring to defining this mission, 
4. What scientific investigations particularly motivate your interest 
in LISA. 

Letter proposals are invited from individuals, not groups. 
"Co-investigators" are not solicited.   This solicitation is for U.S. 

Please send your letter to: 
Alan N. Bunner 
Code SA 
NASA Headquarters 
Washington, DC  20546 


Phone:  2020-358-3064;   FAX 202-358-3096 

Thank you for your interest in helping to define this exciting mission. 


Alan N. Bunner 
  Science Program Director 
  Structure & Evolution of the Universe 



8 March 2001 


The purpose of this committee is to provide input and guidance to NASA 
and ESA that can be used to help assure the optimum scientific return 
from the bilateral LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) mission 
and to ensure a preparedness for analyzing LISA data.  This is an 
international committee, nominally half selected by ESA and half 
selected by NASA.  LISA is tentatively scheduled for launch in 2009-10. 


The LISA International Science Team (IST) will serve as the scientific 
coordinating body and advisory committee to the Office of Space 
Science, NASA Headquarters, and to the LISA study office at ESTEC.  The 
committee will report formally to the NASA Headquarters LISA Program 
Scientist, within the Structure & Evolution of the Universe (SEU) Theme 
at NASA, and to the Head of the Fundamental Physics Office at ESTEC.  
In  practice, the IST will also advise  the respective NASA and ESA 
LISA management offices and Phase A planning team  The committee will 
organize working groups on specific scientific issues as required to 
carry out its coordinating and advisory responsibilities. 
The functions of the IST are as follows: 

(1)  The IST will consider and review the optimizing of the LISA 
mission to achieve the greatest scientific return within the program 
constraints.  The IST will serve as representatives of the U.S. and 
European scientific community that wish to participate in LISA and make 
use of its scientific results. 

(2)  The IST will discuss all scientific aspects of the LISA mission 
and advise NASA and ESA on topics related to, for example, scientific 
goals and  design requirements, policy on the scientific use of the 
satellite, international arrangements, the operation of the satellite, 
data analysis software, uniform standards and portability of data and 
software, or data archiving.  The IST will be asked to produce written 
input on these subjects.  The most important topic will be a set of 
science requirements and goals, together with a prioritization of these 
requirements and goals. Detailed work on topics such as science and 
design requirements will be carried out through working groups as 
described further in (3) below. 

(3)  The IST will undertake studies and provide recommendations on 
topics requested by NASA or ESA or the LISA development offices, for 
example, evaluation of design tradeoffs in the light of science 
requirements and goals.  The IST will carry out these studies through 
the formation of working groups that focus on a specific topic.  The 
working groups will report to the IST and typically include one or more 
members from the IST.  Additional membership in the working groups will 
be drawn from the scientific community and from the LISA development 
offices.  The working groups will have a finite tenure appropriate to 
the study being undertaken.  

(4) The IST will serve as an advocacy group for the LISA mission and 
represent the constituency of potential LISA users. The IST will be 
responsible for encouraging the direct  participation of other 
scientists in the LISA program through the mechanism of working groups. 
 In addition, the IST is expected to suggest processes and structures, 
such as workshops, open meetings, or other opportunities through which 
the broad scientific community can become informed about LISA and 
contribute to the mission, thus providing ways for new individuals and 
groups to become involved.    The IST will also provide recommendations 
on education and outreach, to best engage the public in this mission.  


The membership of the LISA International Science Team will consist of 
approximately 20 members, selected half from institutions in the United 
States and half from ESA member states.  US members will be selected by 
the LISA Program Scientist.  The initial term of membership will be 
nominally 3 years but may be extended.  The IST will have two 
Co-chairs, one from Europe and one from the US, who will each report to 
the respective agencies any advice or findings as appropriate.  The US 
Co-chair is the US LISA Mission Scientist.   


The IST will meet approximately two times per year, as required, for 
(typically) one to two day meetings.  Meetings will be called and 
agendas will be set by the IST Co-Chairs.  Meetings may alternate 
between the US and Europe. 

Funding for Travel: 

On the U.S. side, logistical planning for meetings and travel expenses 
for attendance at IST meetings will be provided through contractor 
support to the US LISA Mission Science Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory. Working group activities of US scientists will also be 
funded, as appropriate, through the US LISA Mission Science Office.  

(Mailing address: Code SA, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC  20546)