Research Support Instruments

Your Team of Experts

 Our Scientists and Engineers have researched and developed for a broad spectrum of technologies. 

Chris Rollins, Ph.D., Vice President

Group of Scientists restored using SeDDaRA

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

Mark Boies, M.S., Principal Research Scientist
Space instrumentation, System Engineering, IR Optical Design, Lidar systems, Contamination Science, System Calibration.

James N. Caron, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist
Sparse aperture imaging, polarimetric imaging, acoustics, advanced image processing, imaging field tests, instrumentation, nondestructive evaluation of materials, and laser-based ultrasound.

Jemma F. Kline, M.S., Principal Research Scientist
Micro-optical systems, Space propulsion, Plasma physics, High energy laser physics, Satellite optical communications, and Pulsed power.


Burta McDonald, Administrator, Security Officer

Duane Simonson, Ph.D., Principle Scientist, Material Science, Specialized Coatings, Contamination Specialist

Robert Podgurski, Ph.D., Optical Design, Stray Light Analysis, Optical Flight Hardware

Tai Ragan, Engineer

Consultants: Dr. Wallace Manheimer, Dr. Robert Lehmberg


Dr. Chris Rollins, Senior Scientist, Vice PresidentChris Rollins
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 Research Support Instruments (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, JMAPS, and GOES-R; he 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 March 2010, Dr. Rollins worked on the NRL Surrogate Sensor Experiment (SSE) program which evaluated large format (16 Megapixel and larger) imaging arrays for remote sensing applications. From January to June 2004, he worked on the AIRIS Wide Area Detector (AWAD) program. Under AWAD, Dr. Rollins designed and developed a wide-angle infrared beam expander. From February 2005 to July 2007, he worked for the NRL TMA program and its descendent, TacSat-4, performing system trades and analyses for tactical satellite payloads. From August 2005 to December, 2011, Dr. Rollins supported the JMAPS program as JMAPS Systems Scientist. From June 2006 to present Dr. Rollins supported the GOES-R/ABI flight project as a detector, calibration, and instrument systems engineering expert. Dr. Rollins is currently the ABI Flight Project Instrument Systems Engineer. He also represents the ABI Flight Project on the GOES-R Calibration Working Group.
From 1991 to 1992, Dr. Rollins worked at Northeastern University, both in detector design for the experimental high-energy physics group, and as a Physics lecturer. Concurrently, he worked with Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD), Watertown, MA, in the areas of avalanche diode development for Supercollider applications, and in atmospheric acoustic scattering analysis for White Sands Missile Range.
From 1984 to 1990, Dr. Rollins worked at RSI's parent company, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), as Group Leader, Pulsed Laser Applications. Dr. Rollins was the Principal Investigator for PSI efforts under the SDIO Laser Propulsion Program, exploring laser thermal propulsion for ground to orbit launches of small payloads. Dr. Rollins also participated in the Hardening Data Base and ALARM laser-resistant-materials development programs and functioned as a consultant to Defense Nuclear Agency and Los Alamos National Laboratory on laser supported detonation waves.

Mark Boies, Principal Research Scientist,
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.

Dr. James N. Caron, Principal Research Scientist,

Dr. Caron is the supervisor for our NRL On-site employees.  He 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.   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''.

Jemma F. Kline, Principal Research Scientist

Jemma F. Kline is the Founder/Manager of RSI Princeton Operations.  Kline 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).  Ms. Kline was Co-PI for development of new commercial high speed fiber optic pressure probes for use at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).    Ms. Kline 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.  Kline 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.

Optical Designer

Bob Podgurski has over 30 years of ESD-safe, nitrile-gloved hands-on experience with testing and operating flight hardware, software for space-based sensors, star trackers, spacecraft control systems, and interferometers. He has experience with every phase from conception to design through build to acceptance testing, operation and mission planning. He managed and upgraded Ball Aerospace’s Stray Light Test Facility and likewise developed Sandia National Labs’ stray light core competency for analyses and testing utilizing FRED and Zemax OpticStudio. He developed methods for on-orbit stray light measurement as well as new techniques for improving and expediting ground-based optical and stray light tests. Bob completed the proof of concept for the adaptive optics for the James Webb Space Telescope and currently provides support for NRL’s WISPR program. 

Materials Specialist

Dr. Duane Simonson, (RSI), has more than ten years’ experience in a multi-disciplinary group of scientists and engineers that integrates materials design, synthesis, and rapid prototyping of equipment for sensors, displays, laser processing, and electronics for low-power military applications. He has utilized basic and applied research methods in broad areas including chemical and radiation sensing, 3D printing for micro/nano-fabrication, body armor and vehicle protection, corrosion control, materials processing, and mechanical testing of initial prototypes. He is the lead inventor of "Fiber reinforcement with 1-silacyclobutane crosslink units" that has been patented by the Navy.  He has routinely briefed high-level military, other government agency, and civilian sponsors at closed and public meetings and has been elected to the Society of Plastics Engineers (Engineering Properties & Structure Division) Board of Directors.

Research Support Instruments, Inc :: 4325-B Forbes Boulevard :: Lanham, MD 20706
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