The MIT Kavli Institute paves the way for new developments in space- & ground-based astrophysics. Our faculty, research staff, and students develop technology & instrumentation with a focus on an engineering and technical core.
Researchers at The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research explore extreme and unusual phenomena found beyond the Earth including extrasolar planets, black holes, neutron stars, and distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
In 1995, Dr. Ford joined the team that was building ACIS, the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer, for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. As flight software manager, he wrote the software for the on-board processors that distinguish x-rays from background noise, and he continues to manage ACIS flight and ground support systems. While MIT’s HETE-2 spacecraft was reporting the direction of gamma-ray bursts, he used ACIS to observe their afterglows, and he has also teamed with colleagues in the US and UK to observe x-rays from Jupiter and Saturn.
Peter Ford, Catherine Grant, and Royce Buehler were part of a group that received a NASA Group Achievement Award on July 18, 2013. They were the ACIS Radiation Detection and Safing Team. “This prestigious NASA certificate is awarded to any combination of government and/or non-government individuals for an outstanding group accomplishment that has contributed substantially to NASA's mission. For example, effective management of cost and schedule; customer satisfaction; or success in responding to unforeseen crises.”