Systems Engineering Seminar

The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST): The Great Observatory to Follow JWST

Presented by:
Harley Thronson, Code 660
Lee Feinberg, Code 550
Norman Rioux, Code 599

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 1:00 pm
Building 3 Auditorium


NASAĻs Science Mission Directorate has identified as a future high priority a very large-aperture space observatory operating from ultraviolet wavelengths into the near-infrared. The NRC in 2010 recommended that the agency begin design work this decade on such a mission, which would include as a major science goal the search for the spectral signatures of life in the atmospheres of Earth-like worlds in the solar neighborhood. With partners at JPL, MSFC, and STScI for such a mission, Goddard is studying engineering designs, assessing major required technologies, and identifying priority science goals.


Dr. Harley Thronson - Senior Scientist for Advanced Concepts in Astrophysics

Dr. Thronsonís current responsibilities include assessment of advanced human/robotic programs in coordination with other NASA Centers, academia, and industry. Previously, while working at NASA Headquarters, he was responsible for selection of advanced technologies to enable future science missions. He also was the program scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. He has been the senior scientist on several long-range planning teams. He has published more than 120 research papers and edited eleven books. Dr. Thronson received his Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1978 from the University of Chicago and has been a faculty member and on the senior staff of the Universities of Arizona and Wyoming, and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.

Lee Feinberg - JWST Optical Telescope Element Manager

Lee Feinberg is the NASA Optical Telescope Element Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland, a position he has held for twelve years. He also serves as the Senior Large Optics Systems Engineer for the Instrument Systems and Technology Division (ISTD) where he is involved in new mission concepts including ATLAST and Atomic Interferometry. From 1998-2000, Lee served as the Assistant Chief for Technology in the ISTD. Before that, Lee worked for 10 years on the optical correction and upgrade instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope and was instrument manager for STIS and led the design study of WFC-3. In 1998 Lee received an MS in Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins University and in 1987 graduated with a BS in Optics from the University of Rochester. Lee is an SPIE Fellow and former winner of the Moe Schneebaum award at GSFC.

Norman Rioux - Mission Systems Engineer

Norman has 28 years of experience spanning research and development for the Department of Defense, systems engineering for commercial aerospace companies, and systems engineering for NASA as a civil servant. He served as the Mission Systems Engineer for the Goddard Fermi space telescope mission from the formulation phase through launch and on orbit handover to successful science operations. He served as the Mission Systems Engineer on the proposal team that won the highest recommendation in the large space mission category in the National Research Councilís 2010 Decadal Survey. This mission is now known as WFIRST/AFTA and is currently under development at GSFC. He has served as the Program Systems Engineer for the NASA HQ Earth Sciences Systems Program Office. Norman has performed systems engineering for a number of missions in their formulation phase, from classes A through D. His experience spans space flight missions in low Earth, geosynchronous, and L2 orbits. He has performed systems engineering for missions incorporating space science, Earth remote sensing, and communications payloads. In addition to Fermi, he performed systems engineering for the successful TDRSS 7 and POES K, L and M missions through launch and on orbit checkout. Before joining NASA Goddard as a civil servant, he held engineering and project management positions at Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, a small startup company, and a Department of Defense research laboratory. Among his publications is an AIAA/IEEE paper on spacecraft mass and power contingency management. He is a contributing author to the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook.



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