As Principal Investigator, or PI, Dave Winker leads the project from both scientific and mission perspectives and he is responsible for achieving the objectives of the mission including scientific integrity; instrument design and performance; spacecraft; launch vehicle; ground system; mission planning and operations; data processing, analysis and validation; and data distribution. Winker is also responsible for the development of the scientific aspects of CALIPSO, for assuring that the science data products are effectively utilized, for coordinating science requirements, plans, and field experiments with other national and international organizations, and for leading an international science team.
Image left: Shown here is Dave Winker, the principal investigator for CALIPSO.
Winker served as Deputy Project Scientist and as a member of the Science Steering Group for the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE), which was the prime payload on the Space Shuttle STS-64 mission in September 1994. As Deputy Project Scientist he was responsible for developing measurement requirements, converting them into instrument performance requirements and ensuring the science objectives were successfully accomplished. Winker served as science liaison to the engineering team during instrument fabrication, integration and testing. As Mission Scientist, he held the primary responsibility for mission planning and development of the mission timeline and the international validation program for LITE. He held the primary responsibility for training the STS-64 crew regarding LITE, and played a critical role in the development of mission operations procedures, acting as lead LITE science director during the STS-64 mission. Finally, Winker led the development of LITE retrieval algorithms, developed numerical methods to predict multiple scattering effects on LITE data and led the data processing, analysis and validation activities.
What's your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy seeing our instruments working and collecting data during payload tests after designing and building them for more than 5 years. But, the really fun part will be after launch when we can actually work with the data.
What interesting perspectives or hobbies do you bring to the team?
I am an avid cyclist, riding for more than 30 years. While living in New Mexico, I raced and trained by riding 200 to 300 miles each week. Now, because of my busy schedule, I mostly just ride to and from work, which averages to about 100 miles each week.