Who's Who at NASA

Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D. C.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., is responsible for early detection of potentially hazardous objects, like asteroids and comets, and issuing warnings about their potential impacts. This requires teamwork from observatories around the world. NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson leads the global effort to detect and follow near-earth objects

Posted in: Who's Who, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Imaging

Adam Sidor, NASA Research Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) — heatshields — form the outer surface of spacecraft and provide protection as the vehicle plunges through planetary atmospheres. Conformal ablative materials are currently being developed to improve TPS performance. Adam Sidor is developing a fresh approach to designing and manufacturing these materials to produce larger tile sizes while reducing labor, cost, and waste.

Posted in: Who's Who, Materials

Nick Krotkov, Atmospheric Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Using data from NASA’s Earth Observing System Aura satellite, launched in 2004, a team led by Michigan Technological University created a global map of volcanic emissions. Scientist Nick Krotkov will use the information to refine climate models and better understand the human and environmental health risks of erupted gases like sulfur dioxide.

Posted in: Who's Who, Data Acquisition

Brooke Thornton, Mission Operations Manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

On February 19, The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument launched aboard a cargo capsule to the International Space Station. SAGE III — equipped with a telescope, grating spectrometer, and charge coupled device detector array — will use the light from the Sun and Moon to provide a profile of the atmosphere, including the Earth’s ozone layer. The technology will launch aboard the Falcon Dragon 9, a rocket developed by the Hawthorne, CA-based SpaceX.

Posted in: Who's Who, Aerospace

Darmindra Arumugam, Senior Research Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and steel-reinforced structures, however, frequently block radio signals. With the development of POINTER (Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders), Darmindra Arumugam has addressed the sensing challenge, and provided a potentially game-changing tool for search and rescue teams.

Posted in: Who's Who, Communications

Farzin Amzajerdian, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Since 2003, Farzin Amzajerdian has worked on the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL), a sensor designed to support safe and precise vehicle landings on Mars and other destinations. The breadbox-sized NDL contains three lasers, a small electronics box, and lenses connected by fiber-optic cables. Amzajerdian will soon oversee the testing of the technology in California's Mojave Desert.

Posted in: Who's Who, Sensors

Branimir Blagojevic, Technologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

During his time with former employer Science and Engineering Services, LLC, Branimir Blagojevic helped build a remote-sensing device that detected biological agents. The technology, originally made for the Department of Defense (DoD), may soon find a place on Mars. Blagojevic currently leads the development of the Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument (BILI), a device that could be used to spot organic molecules and signs of life on Mars.

Posted in: Who's Who, Detectors

Jason Dworkin, Project Scientist, OSIRIS-REx, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

On September 8, NASA launched OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer). The probe will spend two years in space, chasing down an asteroid known as Bennu. Discoveries from the mission could help scientists understand clues to the origins of life.

Posted in: Who's Who, Aeronautics

Edward Chow, AUDREY Program Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Edward Chow leads the development of AUDREY, the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis. The artificial-intelligence system captures a variety of sensor data, including gases, temperature, and location signals. By sending alerts through a mobile device or head-mounted display, AUDREY could soon be used to guide first responders through dangerous conditions.

Posted in: Who's Who, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Dr. Bin Chen, Materials Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Bin Chen has led the development of nanomaterials and ultra-sensitive detection techniques. Her materials development work directly supports radiation-shielding efforts, artificial photosynthesis, and sustainable energy conversion and storage, including applications in fiber solar cells, piezoelectrics, and supercapacitors.

Posted in: Who's Who

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