My role, as Payload Mechanical Systems Engineer, is to bring the major elements of CALIPSO's mechanical systems together into one operational unit. I lead a lot of the important tests that are used to determine whether or not the payload is ready for launch, including the sine vibration and acoustic tests, and I was involved with the thermal vacuum verification. My original responsibility on the project was as the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) Instrument Manager. As we near launch, I am now transitioning away from the CALIPSO project into a new role as Assistant Branch Chief of the Structural and Thermal Systems Branch and the Advanced Engineering Systems Branch, both of which are in the Systems Engineering Directorate.
Image left: Shown here is Scott Hill, payload mechanical systems engineer for CALIPSO.
What attracted you to the CALIPSO mission?
My initial involvement in CALIPSO was very serendipitous -- good timing and the right combination of expertise came together when I was asked to join the team as the IIR Instrument Manager. This role soon morphed into my current position with the project. Being part of the CALIPSO team really turned out to be a good fit for me with my previous background, but also offered numerous great learning opportunities for me.
What's your favorite part of your job?
There are really two main aspects of my work that I enjoy the most. First of all, I have always really enjoyed working with anything associated with hardware. With CALIPSO I have enjoyed being able to work hands-on with the hardware. I also really enjoy the challenges and rewards that come with my work. Building up to a test, and even performing the test is very difficult. But, once we get into the test, it is so rewarding to see the predicted behaviors closely match the actual results.
Tell us more about you...
When I am not traveling for work, I enjoy spending time with my family: my wife of 18 years and my two sons, one is a senior and the other is a freshman in high school. I enjoy being a part of their activities -- being a parent, a fan and a coach during their many sports games and matches. Recently, my son and I have gotten into rebuilding an older truck -- I have always been interested in cars, so we are having a lot of fun with that project.