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UNH Among Top 25 NASA-Funded Institutions
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire is among the top 25 educational institutions nationwide receiving funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in fiscal year 1998.

UNH received $9.12 million from October, 1997, through September, 1998, making it 23rd on the list of institutions receiving NASA funding.

"Our ranking reflects how extensive our space and global Earth science research program truly is here at UNH," says David Bartlett, associate director of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space. "We are a national player, and our continuing relationship with NASA demonstrates that our researchers and students continue to play an active role in furthering our understanding of our planet and our universe."

UNH researchers are involved in several major NASA initiatives, including the construction and deployment of the first UNH-built satellite, CATSAT, scheduled for launch next year. UNH space scientists also continue to analyze data from the COMPTEL Imaging Telescope, part of NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, launched in 1991 aboard the space shuttle.

Other ongoing NASA space missions that currently feature UNH-developed instruments include the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) which includes the UNH-developed Solar Energetic Particle Ionic Charge Analyzer, which measures the temperature of solar flares.

The Fast Auroral SnapshoT Explorer, launched the summer of 1996, is studying the Northern and Southern Lights, probing the physical processes that produce these dazzling light shows in the sky. It carries the ion mass spectrometer built jointly by UNH, Lockheed, Germany's Max Planck Institute and the University of California-Berkeley.

NASA funding to UNH also focuses on Earth observing systems and other programs aimed at learning more about our planet and our effects on its environment. For example, UNH received $3 million to develop a Web-based environmental information system, the Earth Observing System Web-based System for Terrestrial Environmental Research (EOS-WEBSTER).

The UNH Global Atmospheric Chemistry Group is one of several UNH centers conducting NASA-funded work in environmental science. It currently is involved in airborne expeditions with a NASA DC-8 research aircraft over the western Pacific basin to document the outflow of Asian continental emissions to the troposphere.

NASA dollars cover the cost of the New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium (NHSGC), a collaboration of UNH and Dartmouth College. The consortium's goals include enhancing science, mathematics and aerospace education at all levels and providing motivation, improving quality, and increasing access for students, teachers, and the general public.

Topping the FY98 NASA funding list is Johns Hopkins University, with more than $90 million from NASA in FY98. Number two was Stanford, with $70 million, followed by the University of Colorado, with $46 million.

The highest ranked New England institution was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with $28.7 million.

By Carmelle Druchniak
UNH News Bureau