Events Account

March 1, 2018



SILICON VALLEY, CA (February 28, 2018) — The Asteroid Institute today announced Google Cloud and AGI as new technology partners in the development of the Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping 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. Scientists worldwide will be able to build upon and extend ADAM’s analytical tools. This will allow ADAM to act as a baseline for comparison and collaboration. ADAM will be used to assess threatening situations. The platform will identify and trade-off possible realistic courses of action, and create actionable decision-making data.

“We are 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 while major assets go into operation. These assets include the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and (hopefully) NASA’s NEOCam,” said Lu. “ADAM will provide the essential open-source, cloud-based infrastructure for collaboration on large-scale orbital dynamics, and the necessary related computations, to analyze asteroid threats. With greater collaboration and transparency, ADAM will enable rapid calculations and it will run simultaneous astrodynamics algorithms that will let researchers see important patterns needed in protecting Earth from potentially dangerous asteroid impacts.”

Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) is providing its proven Systems Tool Kit software to serve as a core component in ADAM, allowing 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 organizations worldwide, including many within the Department of Defense (DoD), and in the intelligence community.

“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 uses 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 Google Cloud Engineering, 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, President of B612, announced that astrodynamicist John Carrico will lead the ADAM project, noting the importance of bringing on experts to fill positions at Asteroid Institute. “As an 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,” she said. “He has designed and written trajectory algorithms and software for mission analysis and spacecraft operations ranging from Earth to interplanetary.” She welcomes him aboard.

Laura Lark will serve as Senior Engineer on the ADAM project. She comes to Asteroid Institute from Google, where she served as a senior software engineer, and collaborated on orbital dynamics. Laura was one of six crew members selected for the fifth Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) 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 is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid impacts. The organization’s work is divided into two areas: advocacy and public education, and the development of new science and technology projects within the Asteroid Institute. The foundation is entirely funded by private donations.

Asteroid Institute is the international center of excellence for scientific collaboration on the discovery and deflection of asteroids, as well as an incubator for new technologies. 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 to increase the rate of asteroid discovery. A key focus is the creation of a dynamic map of the inner solar system. The platform will be a critical resource for planetary defense, and it will contribute to our understanding of the origins of our solar system, and to future space exploration.

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

Media contact: Diane Murphy, CapCom:

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