RSI People - Creative and Dedicated

Our Scientists and Engineers have researched and developed a broad spectrum of technologies, including:

(To view the full bolgraphical listing, click on the staff member's name.)

Chris Rollins, Ph.D., Vice President

System Science, Radiometric Calibration, Space Instrumentation, Hyperspectral Imagery, Sparse aperture arrays, Optical Design.

Education: Ph.D., Physics, Northeastern University, 1984
M.S., Physics, Northeastern University, 1980
B. A., English Literature, University of Rochester, 1976

Dr. Chris Rollins is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of RSI. Dr. Rollins joined RSI in 1992, to collaborate with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on the Clementine lunar spacecraft project. Since that time he has been active in several spacecraft programs including TICAS, NRL-HSI, NEMO, RIT, TacSat-4, and JMAPS, and has worked in all phases of spacecraft development, from initial design through launch and operations. For Clementine, Dr. Rollins performed systems engineering and functioned as a key technical liaison between NRL and LLNL. From February 1995 to June 1996, Dr. Rollins participated in the TICAS tactical imager architecture study. From June 1996 to March 2002, Dr. Rollins worked on the Navy EarthMap Observer (NEMO) satellite. Dr. Rollins authored the baseline hyperspectral payload design for the NEMO RFP, performed systems engineering studies, and conducted performance tests on the NEMO instruments. From September 1996 to March 1997, Dr Rollins worked on the NRL-HSI hyperspectral satellite. For this activity, he developed the baseline optical design. From June, 1997 to October 2003 , Dr. Rollins worked on the Revolutionary Imaging Technology (RIT) program in sparse-aperture space-based imaging. For the RIT program he led the development of a 16-channel multicolor camera, and participated in optical analyses and test-bed development. From October 2003 to present, Dr. Rollins has been working in the NRL Surrogate Sensor Experiment (SSE) program which evaluates large format (16 Megapixel and larger) imaging arrays for remote sensing applications. From February 2005 to July 2007, Dr. Rollins worked for the NRL TMA program and its descendent, TacSat-4, performing system trades and analyses for tactical satellite payloads. From August 2005 to present, Dr. Rollins has supported the JMAPS program and is currently the JMAPS Systems Scientist.

Mark Boies, M.S., Principal Research Scientist

Space instrumentation, System Engineering, IR Optical Design, Lidar systems, Contamination Science, System Calibration.

Education: M.S. degree in Physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1988.
B.S. degrees (with honors) in both Physics and Computer Science from Colorado State University in 1984.

Experience: Mark is responsible for the business development of remote sensors and products with emphasis on the aerospace market. He has developed laser radar systems and passive spectral imagers. Many of these instruments have been flown on space-based platforms.

Mark is currently the deputy program manager for the HICO/RAIDS mission at the Naval Research Laboratory. This mission represents the first launch of a NASA payload on a Japanese launch vehicle. It will be deployed on JAXA’s JEM-EF module on the International Space Station and meets both NASA and JAXA manned mission safety requirements. Mark is also the program liaison for a sounding rocket program that provides target intercept assessment through spectral evaluation of the impact event. He is a technology liaison for NASA on the focal plane module development for the GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) program

He led the RSI team that developed a non-imaging spectrometer to measure spectral signatures at ultra-high speeds (125 kHz). He was the program manager for an international program with the Japanese government to design and build a vehicle-based DIAL (differential absorption laser radar) system for detection of methane gas leaks. Mark was a principal investigator on the MSX (Midcourse Space Experiment) environmental monitoring science team. Mark has been program manager for a frequency agile Lidar receiver developed for the Air Force and has been involved in the development of a spectral imaging system (visible to LWIR) used to help fight forest fires. These various projects have required that he design several infrared optical elements including several for use in a cryogenic dewar. He provides spaceborn environmental (contamination) instrument development and scientific analysis for sensors in the Hubble Service Missions (shuttle based). He has authored many papers and presentations covering optical instrumentation, space flight hardware, satellite contamination, and space born environmental findings.

James Bremer, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist

Calibration, Radiometry, Electro-optical sensors and ground support equipment, Spacecraft systems engineering, Far UV/Extreme UV instrumentation.

Education: Ph.D., Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1974;
M.S., Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1968;
B.S., Physics, University of Delaware, 1967

Dr. Bremer joined RSI in February, 2009, and is currently supporting Goddard Space Flight Center in monitoring the fabrication of the Advanced Baseline Imager for the next generation of GOES weather satellites and in planning the ABI's calibration and characterization procedures. He is also the Co-Investigator on an effort led by the Naval Research Laboratory to develop spaceborne solar extreme ultraviolet sensors. Prior to joining RSI, Dr. Bremer was the Manager of the Optical Systems Department at Swales Aerospace. (acquired by ATK, Inc. in 2007). While at Swales, he developed techniques and algorithms that are now being used to improve the radiometric performance, calibration accuracy, and image registration of the Imager and Sounder on the present GOES satellites. He oversaw the design and fabrication of the Wide-Field Collimator that has been used to verify the dynamic scanning performance of the Imager & Sounder. He developed several operational GOES calibration techniques, including long-term trending of the Imager’s star intensity measurements and algorithms to mitigate degradations in IR imagery due to 1/f noise, thermal drift, and scan angle artifacts. He also participated in the analysis and calibration of the GOES solar EUV sensors. Dr. Bremer has three US Patents and over 30 technical publications. He received 7 NASA Group Achievement Awards.

James N. Caron, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist

Sparse aperture imaging, polarimetric imaging, acoustics, advanced image processing, imaging field tests, nondestructive evaluation of materials, and laser-based ultrasound.

Dr. Caron received his M.S. (1995) and Ph.D. (1997) in Physics from the University of Delaware, Newark, DE. During graduate study and post-doctorate work, Dr. Caron was the main researcher in the UD Laser Acoustics Lab producing seven years of experience in acoustics, optics, and electronics. He researched, designed, constructed, and operated the laser-based ultrasonic systems at UD. This includes designing and building photodetectors, servo circuits, filters, and amplifiers suitable for laser ultrasonics, operating and maintaining the Nd:YAG lasers, maintaining the laser ultrasonic system, and determining the course of the research. In this time, he invented Gas-coupled Laser Acoustic Detection. He has programming experience in Fortran, Turbo Pascal, Visual Basic and V++. Since his arrival at RSI, Dr. Caron has been researching a possible alternative to space-borne telescopes for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC; developing improved processing techniques for digital videos; and developing image-based methods to characterize laser beams. To meet the project goals, he has developed a large ensemble of novel image processing techniques, handling tasks such as image registration, spectral signature identification, polarimetric imaging, super-sampling, and most notably blind deconvolution. His SeDDaRA blind deconvolution technique has been named Advanced Imaging Magazine's 2004 ``Imaging Solution of the Year''.

David Huber, Ph.D., Principal Scientist

Cosmic Rays, High Altitude Balloon Experiments, Metrology & Control, Optical Modeling.

Education: Ph.D., Physics, 1998 University of Delaware, Newark, DE
B.S., Cum Laude, Physics and Mathematics, 1988 Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

Experience: Dr. Huber has extensive computational and laboratory experience developed from studies of cosmic ray astrophysics and adaptive optical control systems. He has designed and constructed flight instrumentation for high altitude scientific balloon payloads, and has also developed mathematical models of these instruments for Monte Carlo analysis and simulation. His current work includes using the ZEMAX optical design package as well as Matlab and Simulink to design and implement, on a real time operating system, a high-speed active metrology and control system for wavefront control in an optical telescope system. Dr. Huber has programmed in a variety of computer languages (C, FORTRAN, BASIC, VisualBasic, and Python) on a variety of operating systems (Linux/Solaris, vxWorks, Microsoft Windows, DEC VMS, and Data General AOS/VSII). He has experience writing interrupt-driven control software to interoperate computers and specialized laboratory equipment via various interfaces that include serial ports, USB ports, ISA/PCI buses, and the VME backplane. Dr. Huber has written hardware drivers and analysis software for various imaging and non-imaging detectors.

John Kline, M.S., Principal Research Scientist

Micro-optical systems, Space propulsion, Plasma physics, High energy laser physics, Satellite optical communications, and Pulsed power.

John Kline is the Founder/Manager of RSI Princeton Operations. He was Principal Investigator for the CAMERA retroreflector project for NIST, the MASS microspeaker Phase II SBIR project for AFRL, Electron Beam-Controlled, Microwave-Driven Plasmas SBIR Phase II project for AFRL, the Nonequilibrium Ionization MHD project for AFRL, the Mars MHD Aerobraking project for NASA, the Microwave Electrothermal Ignition Source project for NASA, the Compact Micro-Torus eXperiment (CMTX) for NASA and the International Space Sciences Organization (ISSO). He was Co-PI for development of new commercial high speed fiber optic pressure probes for use at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). He has experience with micro-optical systems, space propulsion, plasma physics, high energy laser physics, satellite optical communications, and pulsed power. Projects in-house at RSI and on-site at NRL have included development of a family of electrothermal thrusters, a plasma diagnostic system, micromachined optics, electron beam windows, micromachined ion optics, an X-ray multichannel detector for the NOVA laser fusion facility, an atmospheric pressure plasma generator, and a quantum well modulator optical link. He has provided support for the measurement of high-energy, laser-produced shocks and infrared thermal imaging for CW laser survivability tests for NRL, and high-speed photography of advanced munitions tests for the Raytheon Company.

Charles Manka, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist

Plasma Physics, Pulsed Lasers.

Education: Ph.D., Plasma Physics, University of Arkansas, 1965,
M.S., Physics, University of Arkansas, 1964,
A.B., Physics, William Jewell College, 1960

Dr. Charles K. Manka has broad background that includes university teaching and administration as well as research in academic (Sam Houston State University), government (Naval Research Laboratory, Waterways Experiment Station, Defense Nuclear Agency), and industrial laboratories (United Defense, Midwest Research, Research Support Instruments). From 1983-1996, as a federal employee at NRL, he carried out research using the PHAROS Laser to produce laboratory plasmas that could be scaled to space or astrophysical plasmas, ionospheric plasmas and events such as chemical releases in the ionosphere, and the plasmas formed in high altitude nuclear explosions. Dr. Manka routinely has used many other lasers for alignment and diagnostic purposes, performed spectroscopy from the X-ray region to the near infrared, used high speed gated imagers and streak cameras and worked with large pulsed magnetic fields. Active research projects include: (1) Raman detection and identification of chemical and biological hazards, (2) small scale laser produced shock propagation in solids and liquids, (3) laser induced shock processing of crystalline materials and thin films, and (4) calibration and deployment of ultra-fast imaging cameras.

Maria Salamon, B.S. Senior Scientist

Microspeakers fabrication, plasma polishing of inorganic materials, photoelectrochemical devices, shape memory alloys, metal hydrides, thin film oxide formation and processing techniques.

Maria graduated in 2004 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She minored in Macromolecular Science and Engineering and Psychology. Since joining RSI, Maria has played an active part in the fabrication of microspeakers, namely through troubleshooting device processing problems. Additionally, she investigated the plasma polishing of inorganic materials for improved mechanical performance, and modifying and applying carbon nanotubes to use as a filter medium. Her other interests include photoelectrochemical devices, shape memory alloys, metal hydrides, thin film oxide formation and processing techniques to prevent corrosion.

Dan Sullivan Ph.D., Principal Scientist

Aerospace engineer, mechanical engineer, space propulsion, microwave plasmas, and microwave thrusters.

Dr. Sullivan's primary research has been concerned with the practical application of microwave plasmas. Projects of current interest are the development of a microwave plasma electrothermal thruster, an experimental feasibility study on the use of microwave plasmas for active flow control of hypersonic vehicles, and an experimental study of flame speed enhancement through the application of microwave energy. These research programs have made use of various diagnostic techniques including LIF velocimetry, PIV techniques for flow field resolution, and Filtered Raleigh Scattering for 2-D resolution of flame temperature. Responsibilities include the writing of Phase I proposals, the management of contract funds and oversight of research staff, coordination with the Applied Physics Group of Princeton University who have been partners on some of the programs, filing of project progress reports and Phase II proposals, and marketing efforts to both government and commercial contacts. Engineering tools used commonly during the course of the research programs are LABView, Solid Works, Pro-E, AutoCad, FEMLAB, MathCad, and assorted image manipulation programs.

Tmitri Zukowski, M.S. Principal Scientist

Laboratory and spaceflight optical systems development, integration, test and calibration.

Education: M.S. Physics, California Institute of Technology 1986
B.S. Physics and B.S. Mathematics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1984.

Mr. Zukowski joined RSI in February, 2007. He has extensive experience as an optical systems engineer performing hardware development, system tests, calibration, and laboratory experiments. He currently supports the James Webb Space Telescope project, conducting experiments on optical metrology and materials performance at cryo-vacuum conditions. He has contributed to numerous NASA projects in the past including SWIFT, EO-1, Aura, Terra, GOES, and HST. In addition, he has contributed to the development of the NRL high speed Non-Imaging Spectrograph, as well as several critical optical source GSE projects; he is joint patent holder for the GOES Wide Field Collimator light source.