Asteroid Institute Announces Google Cloud, AGI as New Partners for ADAM Project

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., February 28, 2018 (B612 Foundation PR) — The Asteroid Institute today announced Google Cloud and AGI as new technology partners in the development of the Asteroid Decision Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) project. ADAM is being designed as a cloud-based platform to provide analytical tools to help scientists, world leaders, and citizens understand the unprecedented flood of asteroid discoveries expected within the coming decade.

The ADAM Cloud Platform will support transparent analysis of asteroid data with open and published algorithms. The fact that scientists worldwide will be able to build upon and extend the analytical tools will allow ADAM to act as a baseline for comparison and collaboration. ADAM will be used to assess threatening situations, identify and trade-off possible realistic courses of action and create actionable decision making data.

“We are very pleased to have two of the world’s leaders in software and computing join our efforts,” said Dr. Ed Lu, Executive Director of the Asteroid Institute. “In the next decade, we will see a tsunami of data emerge, as major assets, including LSST and hopefully NASA’s NEOCam go into operation. ADAM will provide the essential open-source, cloud-based infrastructure for collaboration on large-scale orbital dynamics and related computations needed to analyze asteroid threats. With greater collaboration and transparency, ADAM will enable not only rapid calculations, but also be able to run simultaneous astrodynamics algorithms that will let researchers see patterns, important in protecting Earth from potentially dangerous asteroid impacts.”

Analytical Graphics Inc.’s (AGI) is providing its proven STK software to serve as a core component in ADAM, providing enhanced visualization and analytic capabilities to study asteroid trajectories. AGI’s modeling, simulation, analysis and visualization software has been in use since 1989 in thousands of worldwide organizations, including many within the Department of Defense (DoD) and intelligence communities.

“AGI software plays a role for many critical space missions, and we’re excited to work with the Asteroid Institute to make this same capability available to researchers striving to protect our planet,” stated Paul Graziani, AGI Co-founder and CEO.

ADAM is running on the Google Compute Engine which delivers virtual machines running in Google Cloud’s data centers around the world. Compute Engine tools and workflow enable scaling from single instances to global, load-balanced cloud computing. Brad Calder, Vice President of Engineering, Google Cloud said, “The ADAM project is a great example of using Google’s incredibly scalable cloud computing solutions to solve a hard technical problem, and for a worthy cause.”

Danica Remy, B612 Foundation President, announced that John Carrico will lead the ADAM project, noting the recruitment of experts to fill important positions at the Asteroid Institute: “As an astrodynamicist, and expert in the field of flight dynamics, mission analysis, operations, and systems integration, John brings years of success with several operational Earth and Lunar spacecraft missions, having designed and written trajectory design algorithms and software for mission analysis and spacecraft operations ranging from Earth to interplanetary.”

Laura Lark will serve as Senior Engineer on the ADAM project. She comes to the Institute from Google, where she served as a senior software engineer and collaborated on orbital dynamics. Laura also was one of six crew members selected for the fifth HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission and has spoken at Google and Brown University on “Life on Mars on Earth .” Laura brings her expertise in large-scale distributed systems to the Asteroid Institute.

B612 Foundation

B612 Foundation is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid impacts. The organization’s work is divided into two critical areas: public education and advocacy, and the development of new scientific and technological projects within the Asteroid Institute. The foundation is entirely funded by private donations.

The vision of the Asteroid Institute is to be the international center of excellence for scientific collaboration on the discovery and deflection of asteroids as well as an incubator for new technologies. Current major projects within the Institute include: postdoctoral research fellowships; ADAM, an open source cloud-based platform for asteroid data analysis and mapping; and the use of synthetic tracking as a means of increasing the rate of asteroid discovery. A key focus is the creation of a dynamic map of the inner solar system.. The map will be a critical resource for planetary defense, while contributing to our understanding of the origins of our Solar System and future space exploration.

Founded in 2002, by visionary astronauts Dr. Edward T. Lu, and Russell (Rusty) Schweickart Apollo 9, collaborators include: Caltech, Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Analytical Graphics Inc (AGI), Google Cloud, and Data Intensive Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology Center (DIRAC) at the University of Washington.