As a Lidar Systems Analyst, I develop acquisition software, the user interface and analysis code for the CALIPSO Correlative Lidar, a ground-based instrument that uses pulses of light to measure the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols within the atmosphere, as CALIPSO will do on orbit. Essentially, my work directs the instrument as it collects the measurements and then creates usable displays of this information. Additionally, I develop software to analyze the CALIPSO Science data and provide a variety of numerical and graphical outputs. I will perform these functions once the spacecraft is on orbit and at the Atmospheric Test, scheduled for June 9 through 14 at Vandenberg AFB -- a practice run before CALIPSO is launched.
Image left: Shown here is Pat Lucker, lidar systems analyst for CALIPSO.
What attracted you to the CALIPSO mission?
I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a number of very exciting projects at NASA Langley, such as SAGE, LITE and SOLVE, the SAGE validation campaign in Sweden. When CALIPSO came along, I couldn't pass up the chance to be a part of this new and exciting mission.
What's your favorite part of your job?
There are a lot of great things about this job -- I love being a part of the brilliant team of scientists and engineers as well as a part of an international group of researchers. Also, I enjoy the fact that I am involved in a project with so many potential benefits to society and the environment. Air quality and climate change are two very important issues for all of us!
Tell us more about you...
I really enjoy playing volleyball here on Center, as part of the CALIPSO team and other teams. My daughter also plays volleyball, as well as softball -- both at school and for traveling teams, so I spend a lot of time supporting her activities. I am the Council Chairman for my son's Boy Scout Troop, which also keeps the whole family very busy.