Dr. Neil Chamberlain's Summary of his 2002 Summer Faculty Fellowship at JPL


-----Original Message-----

From: Chamberlain, Neil

Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 1:55 PM

To: Farwell, Sherry O.

Subject: ASEE NASA SFF summary (well, 4 paragraphs...)

I was selected, along with approximately 20 other faculty from various US universities, for a NASA 2002 Summer Faculty Fellowship (SFF) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena California. The NASA SFF program provides faculty, who are US Citizens, with a 10 week stipend to do research at various NASA centers.

My supervisor and sponsor at JPL was Dr. Richard Hodges, head of the Spacecraft Antenna Group. I worked with Richard and Dr. Paul Rosen, head of the Radar Systems Group, on a prototype phased array antenna for space based radar. The project, co-funded by JPL and Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), has as its goal the deployment of a very large aperture radar system in low earth orbit by 2008. There are various science, military, and homeland security issues motivating this research.

I worked on the design and evaluation of a phased array antenna with a hybrid analog / digital beamformer, and various other electronic sub-assemblies that support the radar. My efforts culminated in a formal presentation to Dr. Mark Davis of AFRL, Dr. Paul Rosen of JPL, and numerous other team members, at the quarterly progress meeting, held at JPL. The presentation and work were warmly received by both JPL and AFRL, with the result that I am continuing the work on contract as a consultant. Additionally, I am currently in the process of submitting a proposal, under the JPL Director's Research and Development Fund, to develop one of the ideas that I conceived during the summer work; namely, an optical bus system for distributed real-time signal processing.

I highly recommend the NASA SFF program to both junior and tenured faculty alike. It provides excellent research and networking opportunities. At JPL, we were given tours of nearby NASA facilities, such as the Deep Space Network at Goldstone, and bi-weekly mission briefs by JPL project scientists, such a designing experiments to detect life on Europa. This made for a very interesting and fulfilling summer. Thanks to JPL and AFRL for their sponsorship, and to Dr. Sherry Farwell, Dean of Graduate Education at SDSM&T, for making this opportunity known to me.

Neil Chamberlain, Ph.D.

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Rapid City, SD 57701


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