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Formation Metrology

Task Manager

Dr. Hamid Hemmati
Dr. Hamid Hemmati

Dr. Hamid Hemmati holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics. He did a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology Boulder) where he worked on laser-cooled trapped ion atomic for extremely precise time and frequency standards. In 1983 he joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, though Honeywell Corporation, initially working on one of the instruments of the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) spacecraft and later on laser-communications technology for telecommunication with spacecraft. In 1986, Hamid joined, the Optical Communications Group of JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena, where he is now a Technical Group Supervisor in charge of nearly 15 scientists and engineers developing laser-communications technologies for telecommunication to and from Earth-orbiting and Deep Space spacecrafts. Hamid's research interests are: free-space optical communications technologies, space-qualifiable laser transmitters, lidar, laser altimetry and large aperture low-cost ground receiver telescopes. Dr. Hemmati has published over 90 journal and conference papers, has been granted 7 patents, and has received nearly 30 NASA certificates of recognition. , (818)354-4960

Team Members

William Farr (Electro-Optic Design, Electronic Design, Software and Analysis)

After starting out life as a chemist at Caltech, William Farr has migrated through neurobiology, computer science, and radioisotope instrumentation to find a home with optical technologies. As a member of the Optical Communications Group he is PI for several tasks including Deep Space Optoelectronic Detector development and Atmospheric Visibility Monitoring, and is significantly involved in other tasks such as the High Rate Data Delivery laser development, Sensor Webs using retromodulator technologies, and a forthcoming UAV to ground optical comm demonstration. His experience includes low noise analog circuit design, high power/high voltage/high current electronic driver design, digital circuit design, software design including OS and compiler design and implementation, solid state laser design, and non-linear
optics. He has numerous publications and presentations across six fields.
(818) 354-1989

Bill Liu (FPGA Design and Control Software)

William Liu has a background in computer science and is currently involved in several projects at NASA JPL: Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing for sub-microradian deep space optical communications, next generation Optical Communications Demonstrator technologies, using Sensor Webs for future landers using retro-modulators for communications, and deep space optoelectronic cryogenic detectors. He has worked on past projects with the Atmospheric Visibility Monitoring program and the Radio Science group in searching for gravity waves. He is a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Computer Science.

Dr. Joseph Kovalik (Optical System Desing and System Engineering)

Joe Kovalik received his B.S. in physics from Caltech in 1986. He completed his PhD in physics from MIT in 1994 on the thermal noise issues of the Laser Interferometer Gravity wave Observatory (LIGO). He then became a research associate of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (the Italian National Nuclear Physics Institute) in Perugia, Italy where he worked on the Virgo project (a French-Italian gravity wave laser
interferometer) until 1999, when he joined the LIGO Livingston Observatory near Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a scientist for commissioning that interferometer. He has recently joined the optical communications group at JPL in 2003.

Malcolm Wright (Fiber Optic System Design and Laser Source)

Dr. Malcolm Wright received his undergraduate degrees in physics from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of New Mexico. Following postdoctoral research at the Center for High Technology Materials, UNM, he was with the AFRL, Kirtland AFB, NM developing high power semiconductor lasers. Currently he is with the Optical Communications Group at JPL, Caltech, developing laser based communication systems for future NASA flight projects. His research interests include dynamics of high speed lasers for free space optical communications, high power fiber lasers and space qualification of semiconductor and fiber based lasers for other space borne applications. He has authored numerous technical papers and presentations and is a member of the American Physical Society.

Jerry Neal (Electronics and Mechanical Assemblies)

Jerry Neal is currently working for the Optical Communications Group in Sect. 331 with over 37 years experience at JPL. He has a strong background in microwave, RF and Digital Circuit circuit design and packaging, including experience with Flight Projects, DSN, R&D, DARPA & Navy. Some of his recent work has included the Telemetry Modulation unit for Mars Pathfinder Lander, MCM packaging for, and fabrication of, an X-band exciter using Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic technology, and everything from circuit design through delivery and installation for the Synthetic Aperture Radar Processor in Fairbanks, Alaska.


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