Who's Who at NASA

Carolyn Parcheta, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

     A geologist by training, Carolyn Parcheta had an idea in July of 2013 to develop a robot that explores and measures the shape of volcanic fissures. She worked with engineering teams at JPL to develop the VolcanoBot. In May 2014, the robot explored Mauna Ulu on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone in Hawaii. A smaller, more compact version, VolcanoBot 2, will return early this month.

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David Blake, Senior Research Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

    David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument that is currently deployed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The powder-handling device inside CheMin won Blake the 2010 NASA Commercial Government Invention of the Year award.  This technology allowed scientists to determine the quantitative mineralogy of the 3.5 billion-year-old rocks on the Red Planet for the first time.

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Susan Draper, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

     Susan Draper performs microstructural analysis of metals and determines where fractures have occurred and propagated. Draper is currently characterizing electron-beam-melted, additive-manufactured titanium-6 aluminum-4 vanadium, a titanium alloy. Her team is currently working with the rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rockdyne to improve the RL10 rocket engine.

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Brian Trease, Mechanical Engineer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Brian Trease, JPL Mechanical Engineer, uses origami principles to design large-scale and small-scaled deployable structures. In 2013, Trease collaborated with experts to develop an 82-ft circular solar array that folds up to be 8.9 feet in diameter.

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Jeff Ding, Aerospace Welding Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Jeff Ding developed Ultrasonic Stir Welding (USW) to join large pieces of very high‑strength metals, such as titanium and Inconel. The solid-state weld process improves the current Thermal Stir Welding process by adding high-power ultrasonic (HPU) energy at 20 kHz frequency.

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Jason Moore, Fiber Optic Sensors Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Jason Moore has worked at NASA Langley since 1995. He currently tests and develops fiber optic technologies, including multicore fibers. He is actively organizing ground and flight tests to demonstrate the multicore fiber’s ability to sense structural shape changes in flight.

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Dr. Ajay Koshti, Lead Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Dr. Ajay Koshti, Lead Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer, invented NASA Flash Infrared Thermography Software. Koshti also worked as a Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) Engineer on NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter for 23 years.

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Scott Jensen, Aerospace Technologist (AST) Electronics Engineer, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

Scott Jensen and his team developed the Valve Health Monitoring System (VHMS), a technology designed for detecting deterioration in the mechanical integrity of high-geared ball valves and linearly actuated valves. Beyond valve monitoring, the technology has also been effective at performing real-time verification for structural integrity of hydrogen barge dock facilities.

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Dr. Keith Gendreau, Principal Investigator, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Dr. Keith Gendreau is the principal investigator of the upcoming Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) mission. He was the 2011 Innovator of the Year at Goddard Space Flight Center, and he has been developing X-ray detectors, optics, and other instrumentation to support a number of NASA missions.

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Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center, guides projects that will synthesize new types of aerogels. Her research has focused on the design and development of new polymers for a variety of applications, including high-temperature composites.

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