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Co-Investigator Chris Hostetler: Lidar Algorithms and Validation

Chris Hostetler My role with CALIPSO began with the initial concept development and the proposal writing. After winning the proposal, I was involved in both consulting on hardware design and operational issues, as well as in the development of algorithms used to process the science data. My work now largely focuses on validation of the CALIPSO lidar measurements. The validation activities involve the Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL), an instrument developed here at Langley by a small, very talented team of engineers. The HSRL is based on an advanced technique for measuring optical properties of aerosols and clouds and, in addition to playing a major role in CALIPSO validation, is a prototype instrument for a follow-on to the CALIPSO mission. We are currently in the beginning of the advocacy process for this follow on mission and have submitted a white paper concept to the Decadal Survey in collaboration with colleagues from JPL.

Image left: Shown here is Chris Hostetler, a CALIPSO co-investigator.

What attracted you to the CALIPSO mission?

Moving from the LITE mission into CALIPSO was a natural progression. Following the successful LITE mission in 1994, I was a member of the core team of investigators who studied the feasibility of a space-borne cloud and aerosol lidar and later developed first CALIPSO (then called PICASSO) proposal to the ESSP program. This proposal was not selected in part due to perceived risk in the laser transmitter. In response to that perceived risk, John Stadler and I spearheaded an effort to fund development a prototype laser -- the so-called "Risk Reduction Laser" prior to the submission of another proposal into the next ESSP call that came out 2 years later. Apparently, this helped us over the laser risk hurdle, since we were selected that time around.

What's your favorite part of your job?

There are many aspects of my work that I enjoy, but two seem most relevant. First, its been my privilege to have had the opportunity to work with some extremely creative, intelligent and motivated people from whom I have learned a great deal. Second, I enjoy the end-to-end aspect of this job: from the feasibility studies, to proposals, to space hardware, to, eventually, scientific results.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

When I'm not at the gym trying to stay fit, I enjoy getting together with friends for dinner and outings to plays, movies, and other pleasant diversions.

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