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2010 Annual Science Report

VPL at University of Washington Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

VPL Databases, Model Interfaces and the Community Tool

Project Summary

The Virtual Planetary Laboratory develops modeling tools and provides a collaborative framework for scientists from many disciplines to coordinate research on the environments of extrasolar planets. As part of this framework, the VPL acts as a central repository for planetary models and the inputs required to generate those results. Developing a comprehensive storehouse of input data for computer simulations is key to successful collaboration and comparison of the models. As part of the on-going VPL Community Tools, we are developing a comprehensive database of molecular, stellar, pigment, and mineral spectra useful in developing extrasolar planet climate models and interpreting the results of NASAs current and future planet-finding missions. The result, called the Virtual Planetary Spectral Library, provides a common source of input data for modelers and a single source of comparison data for observers.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
2 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

We are continuing to maintain the Virtual Planetary Spectral Library for use by the collaboration and the general community. In addition, we are developing other model integration tools to combine various climate-modeling software and make them available to the community. Shawn Domagal-Goldman, then at the University of Washington, and his student wrote scripts in bash that will allow for coupling of various climate and photochemistry codes that will interface with our TPF simulator. These scripts were used in Khalfa et al., 2009 (AGU abstract). An abstract of this progress can be found at:

During the fall of the reporting period, Nancy Kiang and Columbia undergraduates, funded through the Director Discretionary Funds, continued to contact researchers for pigment spectra datasets and process them for the VPL Spectral Library. Additional bacteriochlorophylls and xanthophylls were added to the database, as well as contacts being made with researchers to obtain chlorophyll c and anthocyanins. Lead Investigator Kiang advertised the VPL Spectral Library at the International Congress of Photosynthesis 2010 in Beijing, China, August 22-27, 2010, soliciting additional datasets, including the newly discovered chlorophyll f.