I am the Project Scientist as well as the Deputy PI. I am also in charge of developing validation efforts for the mission, which involves using collaborative measurements to test our confidence in the data from CALIPSO's instruments. We will really scrutinize the data to understand its boundaries. We have a number of validation missions planned, including missions using HSRL (High Spectral-Resolution Lidar), an advanced lidar developed at Langley that will fly, taking measurements from the air beneath CALIPSO, as soon as we turn on the instrument in orbit. Some of the other field campaigns include other important collaborations, such as AVE, the Aura Validation Experiment in Costa Rica that involves the Aura satellite -- another member of the constellation of satellites that CALIPSO is a part of; and the African Monsoon Experiment in the African Sahara, a campaign in collaboration with the French.
Image above: Shown here is Chip Trepte, CALIPSO Project Scientist.
What attracted you to the CALIPSO mission?
I saw CALIPSO as a revolutionary step that could be taken to improve our understanding of aerosols and their effects on weather, air quality and climate change. I was involved in LITE, the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment flown on the Space Shuttle in 1994, and that mission really illustrated for me the potential benefits of flying lidar in space, especially in a long-term scenario.
What's your favorite part of your job?
I have really enjoyed working on the CALIPSO mission because of the opportunity it provided to work with the French. I have learned a lot from our French partners, both scientifically and culturally. I look forward to greater collaborations with them in the future.
Tell us more about you...
I am really passionate about weather. From the age of four or five, I became interested in the sky -- tornadoes, thunderstorms, clouds, rainbows. I have been most fortunate to be able to follow that passion from childhood into my career at NASA working with satellites. I also enjoy sharing my interest in weather with my two sons, who are both beginning to love weather as much as I do.