UMBC hosts the Center for Space Science & Technology (CSST). CSST is the administrative unit for UMBC's participation in the CRESST (Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science & Technology) consortium, in which the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) are UMBC's partners. CRESST is a cooperative agreement between the three partner institutions and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) 25 miles south of the UMBC campus in Greenbelt, Maryland. The CRESST consortium currently has over 55 PhD astronomers and astrophysicists working within the Astrophysics Science Division at GSFC.
CSST was formed in 2006 and currently has over 20 UMBC research faculty, several of which are affiliated to the physics department. The research conducted by the members of CSST focuses on (i) Astrophysical Data Reduction, Interpretation & Archiving, (ii) Space Science Technology: Development & Calibration, and (iii) Theoretical Astrophysics: Simulations & Software.
UMBC hosts both the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center. Both centers are cooperative agreements with the Earth Sciences Division of NASA/GSFC.
JCET was formed in 1995 and currently has over 50 research faculty, many of which are affiliated to the physics department. The research conducted by members of JCET focuses on (i) Atmospheric radiation, (ii) Atmospheric observations, (iii) Clouds & precipitation and (iv) Interdisciplinary atmospheric studies.
GEST is a collaboration formed in 2000 between UMBC, Hampton University, Howard University, Caelum Research Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation. The role of GEST is to develop research programs in all areas of the Earth sciences with GSFC. Currently there are over 140 research faculty with GEST, primarily working in the fields of (i) Global Modeling, (ii) Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes, (iii) Climate and Radiation, (iv) Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics, (v) Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences and (vi) Heliophysics.
UMBC hosts the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonic Research (CASPR), which was formed in 2002 and currently consists of 16 research faculty distributed among several UMBC departments. The research conducted by members of CASPR focuses on (i) Quantum Optics, (ii) Sensors, Lasers & Detectors, (iii) Very High Capacity Optical Fiber Communication, (iv) Nanotechnology and (v) Biophotonics.