Systems Engineering Seminar

Flight Instrument Development in the Instrument Systems and Technology Division:
Past, Present, and Future

Presented by: Richard Barney,
Division Chief of the Instrument Systems and Technology Division (ISTD)/ Code 550

February 6, 2007, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

Flight Instrument Development in the Instrument Systems and Technology Division: Past, Present, and Future

NASA’s pursuit of the Vision for Space Exploration cannot proceed without the development of new science instruments and sensors. Goddard leads the world in development of science instruments and new technology that is serving to answer compelling science questions as old as human curiosity or providing crucial knowledge to enable exploration missions.

Mr. Barney will discuss a brief history of “in-house” instrument development including the COBE Instruments, a snapshot of science instruments currently under development in collaboration with the Science and Exploration Directorate, and some insight into instrument and sensor roadmaps of the future.



Richard Barney joined the GSFC in 1983, as an optics engineer supporting the development of the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) for the Cosmic Background Explorer. During the COBE program he also served as Contamination Control Manager during I&T and launch operations. After COBE was launched, he led the in-house development of the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) that recently returned exciting scientific results from Saturn and Titan.

In 1997, he was selected to form and become Chief of the Flight Instrument Development Office (FIDO) in STAAC. This office was responsible for managing many flight instruments for space and Earth science applications for projects such as the Earth Observing System, Spitzer Great Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. After serving as the Associate Chief of the Instrument Systems and Technology Division (ISTD) for 6 years, he was selected to lead a National team of engineers and scientists in the development of Science Instruments and Sensors Capability Roadmaps that included capabilities associated with the collection, detection, calibration, conversion and processing of scientific data required to answer compelling science questions driven by NASA’s new vision for exploration. In the spring of 2006, Mr. Barney was selected as the Division Chief of the ISTD.

Mr. Barney was awarded two patents entitled “Cryogenic Shutter” in 1991 and received the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership in 1999 & 2006 among other individual and group awards. He received a B.S. in Aerospace & Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1985, and a Masters Degree in Engineering Administration from George Washington University in 1992.


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